Education Secretary Betsy DeVos / REUTERS

Attorneys General to DeVos: Delaying Student Loan Protections Is 'Injustice for Students'

A group of 21 attorneys general signed an open letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urging her to reinstate protections for students scammed by for-profit colleges.


The letter cites the BorrowerDefenseRuleandtheGainfulEmploymentRule. These guidelines were intended to protect students who were defrauded by higher education institutions. Last year the Obama administration clarified the rules and simplified the claims process for those affected by predatory schools. The rules were scheduled to go into effect July 1 until the current administration stepped in.

“The Department cannot point to any new facts or compelling reasons for a new rulemaking,” the attorneys general state. “We are dismayed by the Department’s decision to cast aside all the hard work and progress achieved during its previous rulemaking, and disheartened that the Department has decided to turn its back on the critical protections it promised to borrowers.”

Some of the schools in question have, for instance, exaggerated their post-graduation job rates to entice students to attend their schools often for high prices. Corinthian Colleges was one such school that was accused of misleading its students with false advertising and unrealistic expectations given to potential students. Corinthian closed all of its schools in 2015.

ITT Technical Institute, which existed for almost half a century, was a for-profit tech school that closed its doors in 2016. In 2014 Time ranked ITT as number two among colleges “that leave the most students crippled by debt.” In 2011, 22 percent of its borrowers had defaulted on federal loans.

DeVos has previously criticized the Obama administration’s regulations. In a statement announcing the delay she called the previous efforts “a muddled process that’s unfair to students and schools, and puts taxpayers on the hook for significant costs.”

“It’s time for a regulatory reset,” she said.

But the attorneys general argued that last year’s regulations were the result of “robust and thorough negotiated rulemaking.”

“Thisisbothawasteofresourcesandabetrayalofstudents,” they wrote.

“These rules are meant to protect students in New York and across the country from predatory for-profit schools. Yet again and again, Secretary DeVos and the Trump administration put unscrupulous special interests before students,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a statement. “Attorneys General won’t hesitate to step in and fight back when the federal government fails to protect those they serve.”

The letter also follows a lawsuit filed last week by 19 attorneys general against DeVos and the department. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia all signed on the suit. (Maine Attorney General Janet Mills announced on July 13 that she plans to sign on as well and didn’t initially due to the state’s government shutdown at the time the suit was filed.)

The attorneys general for California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, all Democrats, signed the suit.

Massachusetts led the lawsuit. “Since day one, Secretary DeVos has sided with for-profit school executives against students and families drowning in unaffordable student loans,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement.

The Education Department cited pending litigation against DeVos and the department as one reason it was postponing the rules. The California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools filed a lawsuit against the department in May, calling the rules unconstitutional and saying they “exceed the Department’s statutory jurisdiction and authority.”

However, the attorneys general said the department and DeVos were using the pending litigation as “a mere pretext” to repeal the rules and replace them with one that “will remove or dilute student rights and protections,” Reuters previously reported.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

Latest News

Three BASF Women Leaders Honored at the Manufacturing Institute’s 2021 STEP Ahead Awards

Originally published at basf.com. BASF ranked No. 12 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Three BASF leaders in manufacturing were among 130 women recognized nationally at The Manufacturing Institute’s ninth annual STEP Ahead Awards. Focusing on science, technology, engineering and production (STEP), the program recognizes women…

Wells Fargo Pledges $1 Million to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund for HBCU Seniors

Originally published at newsroom.wf.com. Wells Fargo ranked No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Wells Fargo and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) are teaming up to help close the graduation gap for college seniors attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The $1 million Thurgood Marshall…

Hershey Employees and Retirees in the US and Canada Pledged More Than $900,000 in 2021 To Support Nonprofit Organizations

Originally published on LinkedIn. The Hershey Company ranked No. 10 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.    Each year, our Season of Giving campaign encourages Hershey employees to make a difference by supporting nonprofit organizations which they find to be meaningful. Employees and retirees in…

Creating Windows and Mirrors: Hershey’s Amber Murayi on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the ‘World’s Top Female-Friendly Company’

Amber Murayi is the Hershey Company’s Senior Director of Enterprise Strategy & Business Model Innovation & Co-lead of the Women’s Business Resource Group. The Hershey Company ranked No. 10 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.    My position affords me a unique view of DEI…

Author Alice Sebold

Author Alice Sebold Apologizes for Her Role in the Wrongful Conviction of the Black Man Charged With Raping Her

In her acclaimed 1999 memoir Lucky, author Alice Sebold told the story of being raped in 1981 when she was a student at Syracuse University. The case resulted in a Black man named Anthony Broadwater being convicted and sent to prison. Sadly, Broadwater was innocent and wrongfully convicted — and…

Black renters

New Study Reveals Landlords Consistently Discriminate Against Potential Renters With Black or Hispanic ‘Sounding’ Names

In the largest study of its kind ever conducted, researchers with the National Bureau of Economic Research have uncovered what many people of color already know when hunting for an apartment or home: most landlords consistently discriminate or harbor bias against non-white individuals looking to rent their property.  Bloomberg’s Kelsey…