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Support debt relief for defrauded students

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    Support debt relief for defrauded students

    For-profit colleges lie to students and leave them deeply in debt. They have been repeatedly caught promising a great education and career success in order to suck tuition dollars out of students and taxpayers. Some for-profit college campuses have gone as far as bribing local temp agencies to hire graduates for a day or two in order to artificially inflate “job placement” rates.1

    Federal law says students who were defrauded by schools should have their federal loans wiped away. In reality, many students never see the help they are owed. The Department of Education just proposed draft regulations to fix it, but they are not strong enough and will leave too many students falling through the cracks.2

    That’s why we are teaming up with our friends at The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) to submit thousands of public comments demanding relief for defrauded student borrowers before the July 31 deadline. Can you help?

    Submit a comment: Support debt relief for defrauded students.

    Seedy for-profit schools have been caught in all sorts of wrongdoing: failing to deliver promised career counseling, scamming students into taking on extra expenses, and convincing them to take on unnecessary loans.3 According to experts, students who were ripped off by this kind of misconduct or fraud are eligible for debt relief under federal law.4,5 In other words, if students took out a loan while the school was lying to them about what they’d get for the money, they shouldn’t be stuck in debt.

    The new rules would create a process for debt relief, but a flawed one. Instead of simply giving all students who were defrauded full loan relief, the rules set up a wasteful secondary system to determine who gets how much relief. Add it to the arbitrary time limit for a full federal loan discharge, and many people won’t see the relief owed to them under the law. The rules also included loopholes that help colleges to escape accountability by allowing them use fine print agreements that bar students from suing them.6

    Defrauded students are counting on us to strengthen these rules. But The Hill says for-profit colleges are engaged in a “frenzy” of lobbying.7,8 With only days left before the comment deadline, we have to act fast.

    Submit a comment: Support debt relief for defrauded students.

    If watchdogs catch schools breaking the law, students shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get help. It seems like common sense to all of us, especially because it could save taxpayers money that is wasted on for-profit colleges today. But those for-profit colleges hate it, because they know that laws like this will crack down on their entire business model of misleading students. A strong rule could even be the first step toward cutting off the federal loan dollars that earn for-profit colleges most of their money.9

    Let’s make the most of this chance to strike a blow at the for-profit college industry – and help the millions of defrauded student borrowers desperate for loan relief. Support debt relief for defrauded students.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    1. Alan Pyke, “The Inside Story Of How A For-Profit College Hoodwinked Students And Got Away With It,” ThinkProgress, February 28, 2015.
    2. TICAS, “TICAS Statement on Education Department’s Proposed Borrower Defense Rule,” ticas.org, June 13, 2016.
    3. Pyke, “The Inside Story Of How A For-Profit College Hoodwinked Students And Got Away With It.”
    4. TICAS, “TICAS Statement on Education Department’s Proposed Borrower Defense Rule.”
    5. Michael Stratford, “New Criteria for Debt Relief,” Inside Higher Education, February 17, 2016.
    6. TICAS, “TICAS Statement on Education Department’s Proposed Borrower Defense Rule.”
    7. Megan R. Wilson, “New student debt rules trigger frenzy,” The Hill, July 6, 2016.
    8. David Halperin, “Ex-New York Times Reporter Now Lobbying To Block Student Debt Relief,” Huffington Post, July 6, 2016.
    9. Ibid.