Reps. Lee, DeLauro Fight to Defend Students Against Predatory Loans
WASHINGTON – Representatives Susie Lee, D-Nev., and Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., have added their names to the growing list of members of Congress who are pushing bills that tackle predatory student loan practices.
Reps. Lee and DeLauro have introduced a new bill that will protect college students from dangerous practices by higher education institutions and student loan distributors.
The Preventing Risky Operations from Threatening the Education and Career Trajectories (or PROTECT) Act takes direct aim at misleading and fraudulent practices that leave students with enormous amounts of crippling debt.
Democratic Senators Dick Durbin, of New Hampshire, and Maggie Hassan, of Illinois, introduced companion legislation in the Senate earlier this year.
“All students – especially veteran students – deserve access to quality higher education without having to worry about being taken advantage of by predatory institutions looking to make a quick buck at the students’ expense,” said Representative Lee. “For-profit colleges are collapsing left and right, and our students are saddled with skyrocketing debt and an education that often leaves them no better off then they were before they started.”
“For too long, for-profit colleges have taken advantage of our nation’s students. Students attending these institutions often face poor employment prospects and staggering debt after they graduate—and that is if they are lucky enough to attend a school that does not close down in the process,” Representative DeLauro said.
In a statement on the bill, both DeLauro and Lee pointed part of the blame toward the U.S. Education Department under Secretary Betsy DeVos.
“In the absence of action by the Trump Administration, the Department of Education, and Secretary Betsy DeVos, Congress needs to step up and protect students,” said DeLauro.
“Under Secretary DeVos, the Department of Education has rolled back oversight of these institutions, opening our students to even more fraud and misleading practices,” Rep. Lee reiterated.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that of the 1,230 college campuses that have closed in the past five years 88 percent are for-profit, which means that 450,000 college students were displaced by their closure.
Putting this into context, for-profit enrollment makes up one tenth of college enrollment and 85 percent of displaced students. Of those students 70 percent were low income students receiving Pell Grants, and 57 percent were racial minorities (particularly black and latino).
For-profit colleges market more toward nontraditional students, which includes low-income, single parent, and minority and female students.
For-profit college students also account for half of the loan defaults. Students at for-profit colleges also tend to have more debt than those at nonprofit colleges.
In The News
WASHINGTON - The Free Application for Federal Student Aid Simplification Act, which will implement changes to simplify the FAFSA application process, has been delayed by a year. On Friday, the Office of Federal Student Aid announced that the act will be fully implemented by the 2024-2025... Read More
WASHINGTON- The Senate Appropriations subcommittee met Wednesday to examine President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget request for the Department of Education. The $102.8 billion budget for the Department’s programs and activities is a $29.8 billion increase from the 2021 fiscal year budget and includes the American... Read More
WASHINGTON- The U.S. Department of Education confirmed Wednesday that Title IX protects students from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in any educational activity or program offered by public schools or... Read More
The U.S. Education Department said Wednesday it's erasing student debt for thousands of borrowers who attended a for-profit college chain that made exaggerated claims about its graduates' success in finding jobs. The Biden administration said it is approving 18,000 loan forgiveness claims from former students of... Read More
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Education posted 28 plans Monday describing how various states intend to use the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds to support students, schools and educators. The fund provides almost $122 billion to states to support schools... Read More
WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden announced seven nominations on Friday, including his nominee for Inspector General of the Department of Education, Sandra Bruce. If confirmed, Bruce will be tasked with auditing and investigating DOE programs to combat fraud, waste and abuse. Bruce has over 30 years... Read More