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Consumers Union urges Education Department to protect defrauded students, not schools that break the law

Education Department’s borrower defense proposal will prevent students from getting relief 

August 30, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, called on the Department of Education today to adopt a fairer borrower defense standard to enable students who have been defrauded by higher education programs to cancel their loan debts.  Under the Department’s proposed rule, it would be nearly impossible for students to get relief even when they have credible claims, according to the consumer group.

In its letter to the Department, Consumers Union noted, “This rule, as drafted, will essentially block student borrowers from obtaining relief, while shielding schools from accountability even when they engage in systematic misconduct.”

The proposal constitutes a complete reversal from the strong protections issued in the wake of scandals at for-profit schools like Corinthian College and ITT Tech.  Students who attended these career colleges in recent years have been left in debt without getting the training they were promised.

The letter continues, “We cannot forget the lessons of the past and expect a better outcome for students this time around.  Students and taxpayers have subsidized more than enough fraud, waste and abuse already; we urge the Department to implement a rule that corrects injustices and promotes the integrity of our financial aid programs.”

Consumers Union’s complete letter to the Department of Education can be found here.

Michael McCauley, mmccauley@consumer.org, 415-902-9537 (cell) or 415-431-6747, ext 7606 (office)