FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 18, 2021 Contact: Alexis Goldstein, email@example.com Statement of Alexis Goldstein, Senior Policy Analyst, Americans for Financial Reform: It is good to see the Department of Education finally take significant steps to fulfill the promise then-Secretary Arne Duncan made in 2015, that
“Even in a government full of people without the integrity, will or courage to do the right thing, most of the agencies stand down — or at least pretend to — when ordered by the courts. But not the Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos, who seems to have been only further animated by her losses in court over her efforts to deny the rightful debt cancellations owed to people who attended predatory, for-profit colleges, borrowers who are disproportionately women and people of color, and often now working in front-line jobs.”
AFR Applauds the Senate vote to block harmful rollback of Borrower Defense protections. Every Senate Democrat voted to roll back the 2019 changes that makes it even more difficult for students at schools that broke the law to get the debt relief they deserve. Joining the Democrats were ten Republicans: Senators John Boozman, Shelley Moore Capito, Susan Collins, Joni Ernst, Cory Gardner, Josh Hawley, Martha McSally, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Dan Sullivan, and Todd Young all voted to reject DeVos’ proposal that gave the green light to bad actors.
AFR joined 65 other organizations to write in support of S.J.Res. 56 and H.J.Res.76 to undo Education Secretary DeVos’ 2019 Borrower Defense to Repayment rule. The DeVos rule gutted the Obama Administration’s 2016 rule that added further protections to students who are entitled to debt cancellation after their schools broke the law. An analysis of the Department’s own calculations estimates that only 3 percent of the loans that result from school misconduct would be cancelled under the new rule. Schools would be held accountable for reimbursing taxpayers for just 1 percent of these loans.
Americans for Financial Reform joined 56 other organizations to express strong support for the PROTECT Students Act. This legislation would enact important protections for students and taxpayers
against predatory colleges that cheat students and leave them with large debts they cannot afford.
It also includes a far-reaching set of reforms to hold predatory colleges accountable
to both students and taxpayers.
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund applauds the news that a court has rejected the for-profit college industry’s attempt to stop the 2016 Borrower Defense rule. Today, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia sided with students over Betsy Devos’s attempts to let abusive for profit schools rip them off with impunity.
“The Proposed Rule is a brazen attempt to dismantle more than 20 years of borrowers’ rights to a defense to repayment on their loans when schools break the law. This dismantling will do nothing more than unleash a new wave of waste, fraud and abuse. This country teaches people that education is a path to a better life. For far too many years, allowing Title IV funds to flow to institutions engaging in fraud has turned this dream into a nightmare for their students. If the Department continues down this path of dismantling the right to a borrower defense, its legacy will be condemning students to lives full of poverty, while allowing executives of predatory proprietary institutions to become wealthy at their expense.”
AFR Statement: Department of Education’s Proposed New Borrower Defense Rule Sacrifices Students to For-Profit Industry Greed
“The proposed Borrower Defense rule sacrifices students’ rights in order to line the pockets of executives at for-profit colleges, an industry that has shown time and again that it will use taxpayer dollars to deceive and defraud its own students.” said Alexis Goldstein, AFR’s Senior Policy Analyst. “With this rule and its extreme and absurd barriers to relief, Devos effectively tells students that if a school scams them, they’re on their own.”
“The news of the Department’s scheme to grant only partial relief to scammed students is just one more piece of an abundance of evidence that the Trump Administration and the DeVos Department of ED care more for the proprietary institutions that break the law than they do for the students they defraud,” said Alexis Goldstein, Senior Policy Analyst at Americans for a Financial Reform. “For Secretary DeVos, it’s predatory companies first, students last.”
AFR Statement: House Bill to Reauthorize the Higher Education Act opens the floodgates to waste, fraud, and abuse
Today, Rep. Virginia Foxx, Chairwoman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, introduced a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA) that includes language that opens the floodgates to waste, fraud, and abuse by for-profit colleges.