After court order, Secretary DeVos is beginning to implement a 2016 “borrower defense” rule to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges
While 15,000 borrowers will see immediate relief, 100,000 cheated and defrauded students are still waiting for Department to process their claims and are stuck paying back loans
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on the announcement that the Department of Education would begin implementing the Obama-Administration era “borrower defense” rule, which includes protections for students who are cheated or defrauded by predatory for-profit colleges, and that it will provide an automatic “closed school” discharge of student loans for approximately 15,000 students who attended now-defunct colleges. These borrowers will receive $150 million in relief—$80 million of which was taken out by students who attended Corinthian Colleges, Inc. However, Secretary DeVos is still trying to rewrite the underlying rule, and today’s announcement will not help the more than 100,000 students who are waiting for an answer to their claims, or those who have been given partial relief.
“It’s disappointing that it took a court order to get Secretary DeVos to begin providing debt relief to students left in the lurch by predatory for-profit colleges, but I am pleased the Department has finally started implementing this rule and that some of the borrowers who attended schools like Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech are finally getting their loans cancelled. This is a good first step, but it’s not good enough—and I call on Secretary DeVos to abandon her attempts to rewrite the borrower defense rule to let for-profit colleges off the hook and instead fully implement the current rule and provide relief to more than 100,000
In October, a federal judge ordered Secretary DeVos to implement the 2016 borrower defense rule, despite attempts by DeVos and for-profit colleges to the delay the rule. Senator Murray has repeatedly called for Secretary DeVos to abandon attempts to protect for-profit colleges and immediately start providing relief to students who were cheated out of their education and savings and are stuck paying back loans on a worthless or non-existent degree.