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December 12th, 2019
At Congressional Oversight Hearing on Student Debt Relief and For-Profit Colleges, Rep. Grijalva Holds Secretary DeVos Accountable to Defrauded Students

WASHINGTON— Today, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appeared before the House Committee on Education and Labor in an oversight hearing on the Department of Education’s failure to implement the Borrower’s Defense Rule that provides relief to borrowers defrauded by for-profit colleges. Despite the Department of Education’s own analysis that found students defrauded by Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech deserved full relief, Secretary DeVos has refused to provide it. 

“For three years, Secretary DeVos has served as the accomplice of shady for-profit colleges that have defrauded our students,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “While students desperately await their debt relief, the Department of Education has illegally garnished their paychecks, tax refunds, and benefits to pay back debts that should have been forgiven under the Borrower’s Defense Rule. Instead of rolling back regulations that protected students from predatory for-profit institutions, Betsy DeVos should remember that she works for America’s students—not her for-profit college executive pals.”

According to the June 2019 Borrower’s Defense Quarterly Report there are over 4,500 pending claims for forgiveness in Arizona, and for-profit institutions continue to take advantage of students across the country. This week, the Federal Trade Commission reached a historic $191 million settlement with the University of Phoenix to compensate students who were harmed by the for-profit college’s deceptive advertising campaign. The settlement includes a $50 million cash payment for ‘consumer redress’ and the cancellation of approximately $141 million in student debts owed to the university.

“The University of Phoenix egregiously mislead thousands of students through its false advertisements that greatly exaggerated the school’s ties with potential employees,” continued Grijalva. “For-profit colleges that deceive our students and leave them with extraordinary debts and limited job prospects should have to face the consequences of their dishonesty. This settlement is welcome news for these students and should send a clear message to other for-profits engaged in similar practices.”

The University of Phoenix settlement does not impact federal and private student loans. Those who need more information on different repayment plans can visit the Department of Education’s website, and those who believe that were defrauded can submit a claim here.

Click here to watch the Congressman’s exchange with Secretary DeVos at the hearing.


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