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Murray Statement on DeVos Finally Implementing Rule to Protect Students from Predatory For-Profit Colleges

After court order, Department of Education finally implemented a 2016 “borrower defense” rule intended to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges


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 Department of Education’s notice that they are finally moving to implement the 2016 Obama Administration “borrower defense” rule which has been in effect since July 1, 2017. The rule includes protections for students who are cheated or defrauded by predatory for-profit colleges, and has provided automatic “closed school” discharge of student loans for approximately 15,000 students who attended now-defunct colleges. In October, a federal judge ordered Secretary DeVos to implement the rule after attempts by the Department of Education and for-profit colleges to delay it.


“Almost two years and one court order later, Secretary DeVos has finally implemented an important rule that would provide protections for students who have been targeted by predatory for-profit colleges and much-needed relief for those who have been cheated out of their education and savings. I’m disappointed that it took a federal judge to get Secretary DeVos to start protecting students, but now that it’s happened—she needs to immediately begin to provide relief to borrowers who are stuck paying back loans on a worthless or non-existent degree, and finally start implementing the provisions of the rule that protect students and taxpayers from the growing trend of abrupt school closures.”


In the two years since Secretary DeVos delayed this rule, three more for-profit college chains, Education Corporation of America, Vatterott Colleges, and now Dream Center Education Holdings, have collapsed—leaving nearly 50,000 students in the lurch. 


However, Secretary DeVos is still trying to rewrite the underlying rule, and today’s announcement will not help nearly 140,000 borrowers who are waiting for an answer to their claims, or those who have been given partial relief. 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.