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Washington News Brief

Washington News Brief


By Sharon H. Bob, Ph.D., Higher Education Specialist, Powers Pyles Sutter and Verville, PC

ED issues NPRM for borrower defense to repayment rules with 30-day comment period

On July 26, 2018, the Department of Education announced that it was proposing a new package of regulations aimed at protecting student borrowers, holding higher education accountable for misrepresentation and fraud, and providing financial protections to taxpayers by at-risk institutions. On July 31, 2018, the borrower defense to repayment Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the Federal Register on July 31, 2018, and the public can provide comments no later than August 30, 2018.

In the July 26, 2018 press release, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said: “Our commitment and our focus has been and remains on protecting students from fraud. The regulations proposed today accomplish that by laying out clear rules of the road for higher education institutions to follow and holding institutions, rather than hardworking taxpayers, accountable for making whole those students who were harmed by an institution’s deceptive practices.”

The borrower defense to repayment proposed rule would, among other things:

  • Replace the current “State standard” for adjudicating claims with a “Federal standard” that defines misrepresentation and enables a more expeditious review of student claims for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2019;
  • Amend the prior definition of misrepresentation to only include a statement, act or omission by the school that is false, misleading, or deceptive; made with knowledge of its false, misleading, or deceptive nature or with reckless disregard for the truth; and directly and clearly related to the making of a Direct Loan, or a loan repaid by a Direct Consolidation Loan, for enrollment at the school or to the provision of educational services for which the loan was made. The proposed rule also provides a non-exhaustive list of circumstances that ED may deem to be indications of misrepresentation (i.e., employment or licensure passage rates that differ from those included in the marketing materials; assertions of general transferability of credits which are in fact materially limited, etc.);
  • Put into place a borrower defense to repayment adjudication process that is clear, consistent, and fair to borrowers who were harmed by institutional misconduct, and which would not permit group claims;
  • Facilitate collection and review of evidence for deciding claims and ensure that the Secretary of Education can recoup from institutions the financial losses associated with successful borrower defense claims within a five-year window following the decision to discharge the loan;
  • Expand from 120 days to 180 days the period of time during which students who left an institution prior to its closure are eligible for a closed school loan discharge while at the same time incentivizing closing institutions to engage in orderly teach-outs, which enable more students to complete their program (students would not be eligible for a closed school discharge if the school offers an approved “teach-out” or a wind-down of the program);
  • Ensure that institutions requiring students to engage in mandatory arbitration or prohibiting them from participating in class action lawsuits provide plain language explanations of these provisions to enable students to make an informed enrollment decision;
  • Amend the financial responsibility provisions to establish the conditions or events that may have an adverse material effect on an institution’s financial condition and which warrant financial protection for the Department, and protect taxpayers by requiring institutions to post a letter of credit or other types of surety when events occur that put the institution’s continuing operations or financial stability at risk;
  • Amend the false certification discharge provisions by proposing that students who provided an attestation of his/her high school graduation status for purposes of admissions may not subsequently qualify for a false certification discharge based on not having a high school diploma; and
  • Specify that a loan discharge based on school closure, false certification, an unpaid refund, or defense to repayment will lead to the elimination of or recalculation of the subsidized usage period that is associated with the loan(s) discharged.

The proposed rules would require borrowers to prove that their college or university acted intentionally in misleading or deceiving them or at least had the “preponderance of the evidence” of misrepresentation and evidence of financial harm standard for the claims. However, the Department said it is considering raising the evidentiary standard to “clear and convincing” evidence of misrepresentation and evidence of financial harm in the event it continues to consider affirmative claims. The Department stated that it is undecided on whether to allow borrowers to file a fraud claim without first having defaulted on their federal student loans, and welcomed public comments on whether to continue to accept such “affirmative” claims, as is currently allowed, or to accept only “defensive” claims made by borrowers who have defaulted and are challenging the Department’s effort to collect on their loan. If only defensive claims are permitted, defaulted borrowers would be required to file a borrower defense claim within the deadline associated with the relevant collections. These deadlines are 30-65 days from notification of the collections action; however, if affirmative claims are allowed, non-defaulted borrowers would be required to file a defense claim within three years of leaving the institution.

A copy of the press release is found at: https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-takes-action-protect-student-borrowers-hold-higher-education-institutions-accountable-deceptive-practices?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

A copy of the July 31, 2018 NPRM is found at: https://ifap.ed.gov/fregisters/attachments/FR073118NPRM.pdf

On July 25, 2018, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement that said: “Secretary DeVos is right to propose new regulations that set important safeguards and clear standards for when a student can file a claim, so taxpayers aren’t paying for unreasonable or unsubstantiated claims of fraud.”

A copy of the press release from Senator Alexander is found at: https://www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=ED0E1B5B-7B05-44A2-8D0A-A07E592B28B0

On July 25, 2018, Ranking Member of the HELP Committee Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released a statement that said that the proposed rule would “cut billions in debt relief to students who were simply trying to better themselves and instead were cheated out of their education and savings.”

A copy of Senator Murray’s press release is found at: https://www.help.senate.gov/ranking/newsroom/press/murray-statement-on-devos-rule-to-cut-billions-of-debt-relief-from-cheated-students-a-clear-sign-that-students-cannot-rely-on-secretary-devos

On July 25, 2018, Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Bobby Scott (D-VA) issued a press release that said: “The Trump Administration’s proposed Borrowers Defense rule is yet another assault on consumer protections for student borrowers. Rather than supporting students who are cheated out of the education and the future they signed up for, the administration is proposing a new, burdensome process for evaluating claims that will shield schools from accountability and prevent a majority of students from getting desperately needed relief.”

A copy of the press release from Congressman Scott is found at: https://bobbyscott.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/scott-statement-on-final-proposed-borrowers-defense-rule

10 House Representatives seek clarification on the FSA plans for a Payment Card Program Pilot

On July 30, 2018, a bipartisan group of representatives from the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development, including Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Ranking Member Susan Davis (D-CA), sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos seeking “clarification and information” on the proposed Payment Card Program Pilot that would disburse student financial aid for non-tuition expenses through a prepaid card product. In November 2017, Dr. A. Wayne Johnson, FSA’s former Chief Operating Officer, first announced the idea of the prepaid debit card at the 2017 FSA Training Conference. The representatives expressed concern about how the pilot program would affect the millions of students who take out federal student loans each year and whether the pilot program “is a solution to a nonexistent problem.” The representatives also expressed concern about student data privacy and the Department’s authority to use that data to market other financial services and products to students. In light of their concerns, they provided the Secretary with over a dozen questions.

A copy of the letter is found at: https://www.nasfaa.org/uploads/documents/ED_Pilot_Program_Letter.pdf

ED announces intent to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to revise rules on recognition of accrediting agencies and other issues

On July 31, 2018, the Department of Education published a Notice of intent to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee in the Federal Register to revise the regulations related to the following topics:

  • Recognition of accrediting agencies;
  • State authorization requirements related to programs offered through distance education or correspondence courses, including disclosures;
  • The definition of “regular and substantive interaction” as the term is used in distance education and correspondence courses;
  • The definition of “credit hour;”
  • The requirement that an institution demonstrate a reasonable relationship between the length of a program and entry-level requirements for the recognized occupation for which the program prepares the student;
  • The arrangements between an institution and another institution or organization to provide a portion of an educational program;
  • The roles and responsibilities of institutions and accrediting agencies in the teach-out process;
  • The barriers to innovation and competition in postsecondary education or to student completion, graduation, or employment;
  • The simplification and clarification of program requirements to minimize inadvertent grant-to-loan conversions and to improve outcomes for TEACH recipients;
  • Direct assessment programs and competency-based education; and
  • Revisions to the various provisions of the regulations regarding faith-based entities to participate in the Title IV programs.

Public hearings will be held on September 6, 2018 in Washington, DC; September 11, 2018 at Xavier University, New Orleans, LA; and September 13, 2018 at Gateway Technical College, Sturtevant, WI.

This new round of rulemaking represents the Department’s latest attempt to undo policies and procedures promulgated under the Obama Administration. Both accreditors and many colleges will welcome these discussions because many believe that the current regulations are burdensome and discourage innovation. However, consumer advocates will likely be frustrated over any plans to loosen consumer protections.

A copy of the Federal Register Notice is found at: https://ifap.ed.gov/fregisters/attachments/FR073118NegotiatRuleCommitPublicHearings.pdf

VA implements Forever GI Bill provisions

On August 1, 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began implementing 15 more provisions of the Harry W. Colmery Educational Assistance Act of 2017, which is also referred to as the Forever GI Bill. Thirteen other provisions were implemented less than a year ago. The Yellow Ribbon Program now covers more students and Post-9/11 GI Bill students may now receive a monthly housing allowance for any days they are not on active duty.

A copy of the VA announcement is found at: https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5089

Senator McCaskill introduces bill to protect Social Security benefits from wage garnishment

On August 2, 2018, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced S. 3320, the Protecting Seniors with Student Loans Act, which would prevent seniors from being pushed into poverty due to garnishments on Social Security benefits from student loan debts. According to a press release, Senator McCaskill said: “Tens of thousands of seniors are being pushed into poverty due to decades old student loan debt – and many thousands more will suffer the same fate if we don’t act. This undermines the promise of Social Security that seniors should be able to retire with dignity – it’s not right and I won’t stand for it.”

A copy of Senator McCaskill’s press release is found at: https://www.mccaskill.senate.gov/media-center/news-releases/mccaskill-bill-prevents-seniors-from-being-forced-into-poverty-in-an-attempt-to-recoup-student-loan-debt

Democratic Senators urge Secretary of Education to assist students harmed by closure of colleges owned by DCEH

On August 3, 2018, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos urging her to assist the students harmed by the closing of colleges owned by Dream Center Education Holdings (DCEH). Specifically, the Senators asked the Secretary to immediately inform the students of their right to a closed school discharge. The letter said:

“The evidence is mounting that long-held doubts about DCEH’s commitment to students, and its ability to properly manage institutions of higher education, were well founded. Another troubled for-profit conversion prepares to leave thousands of students holding millions of dollars in useless debt, it is the obligation of the Department to do everything in its power to make sure that students are fully informed of available options and to protect against additional students and taxpayer dollars being put at risk.”

A copy of Senator Durbin’s press release, which includes the text of the letter to the Secretary: https://www.durbin.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/durbin-murray-warren-blumenthal-brown-duckworth-press-secretary-devos-to-assist-students-in-the-wake-of-national-college-closures-

ED issues NPRM to rescind gainful employment rules

On August 14, 2018, the Department of Education published its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register to rescind the gainful employment (GE) regulations. The public may provide comments until September 13, 2018. According to a Fact Sheet on the proposed withdrawal of the GE rules, the proposal is the result of “concerns raised by institutions and researchers regarding the validity and usefulness of the D/E metric.” Instead, the Department says it plans to ensure all students across all sectors will have access to transparent and meaningful information. The Department plans to update the College Scorecard, or a similar web-based tool, to provide program-level outcomes for all higher education programs, at all institutions that participate in the Title IV programs. The goal of the proposed rule is to improve transparency and inform student enrollment decisions through a market-based accountability system.

The Department argued that research did not support the validity of the debt-to-earnings metrics and the disclosure requirements were overly burdensome. Further, shifts in the interest rates or shifts in the economy could move programs from passing to failing the standards.

The Department further justified the proposal by stating:

“We further believe the GE regulations reinforce an inaccurate and outdated belief that career and vocational programs are less valuable to students and less valued by society, and that these programs should be held to a higher degree of accountability than traditional two- and four-year degree programs that may have less market value.” (Pg. 40171)

A copy of the August 14, 2018 NPRM is found at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-08-14/pdf/2018-17531.pdf

A copy of the Fact Sheet is found on the Department’s Gainful Employment website at: https://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2017/gainfulemployment.html

The Department released a press statement stating:

“Students deserve useful and relevant data when making important decisions about their education post-high school,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “That’s why instead of targeting schools simply by their tax status, this administration is working to ensure students have transparent, meaningful information about all colleges and all programs. Our new approach will aid students across all sectors of higher education and improve accountability.”

The Department continues to believe that data such as debt levels, expected earnings after graduation, completion rates, program cost, accreditation, and consistency with licensure requirements are important to consumers, but not just those students who are considering enrolling in a gainful employment program. Therefore, in the NPRM the Department invites public comment concerning whether or not the Department should require institutions to disclose, on the program webpage, information about the program size, its completion rate, its cost, whether or not it is accredited, and whether the program meets the requirements for licensure in the State in which the institution is located.”

The press statement can be found at: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USED/bulletins/205013a

Reception to the Department’s decision to rescind the gainful employment rules was split along party lines. Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Lamar Alexander (R-TN) issued the following statement on August 10, 2018:

“Secretary DeVos’s regulation proposes to end a clumsy rule that consumed 945 pages to define two words in the higher education law and targeted just one segment of our 6,000 colleges and universities. This reset gives Congress an opportunity to create a more effective measure of accountability for student debt and quality of institutions. My own view is that Congress should focus on repayment rates – whether borrowers are actually paying back loans – rather than the current “default rate” which measures only whether students have not paid back their loans for 270 days or more.”

A copy of Senator Alexander’s press release is found at: https://www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=53AC4E65-A21E-446A-8AA5-DE3CAB608664

Ranking Member of the HELP Committee Patty Murray (D-WA) issued the following statement on August 10, 2018:

“The gainful employment rule empowers students to make meaningful choices about their education and employment opportunities – and yet Secretary DeVos is proposing to completely abandon this common-sense and effective consumer protection that helps students decide whether a career training program is worth the investment, and would hold predatory for-profit colleges and career training programs accountable for leaving students with extensive debt they cannot repay. Her extreme proposal to rescind this rule is further proof that there is no line Secretary DeVos won’t cross to pad the pockets of for-profit colleges – even leaving students and taxpayers to foot the bill.”

A copy of Senator Murray’s press release is found at: https://www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/newsreleases?ID=069B6CC3-F08F-45C2-B601-BBA34B19A894

Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Bobby Scott (D-VA) released the following statement on August 10, 2018:

“The Trump administration’s decision to eliminate – rather than revise or replace – the Gainful Employment rule is yet another example of its willingness to prop up low-quality for-profit colleges at the expense of students and taxpayers. According to the Education Department’s own analysis, this decision will cost taxpayers nearly $5 billion in federal financial aid, which will go to college programs that have failed to meet the existing standards and would have otherwise closed.”

A copy of Congressman Scott’s statement is found at: https://bobbyscott.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/scott-by-eliminating-gainful-employment-rule-trump-administration-once

Students are spending less on course materials

On August 15, 2018, the National Association of College Stores (NACS) released the results of its recent survey on technology and school supplies. According to the survey, during the 2017-18 academic year, college students spent an average of $484 on nine units of required course materials. In 2016-17, college students spent $579 on 10 units and $701 a decade ago. According to the press release, “Students are still purchasing roughly the same amount of course materials, but are spending less due to increased use of free and lower-cost digital and rental materials.”

A copy of the press release is found at: https://www.nacs.org/advocacynewsmedia/pressreleases/tabid/1579/ArticleID/771/Course-Material-Spending-Declines-for-2017-18-Academic-Year.aspx

Mobile FAFSA app available in the Apple App Store and Google Play

On August 16, 2018, the Department of Education announced that it was launching a beta version of a mobile FAFSA app, known as “myStudentAid.” The app is available from both the Apple App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android). The beta version of the app allows students and their families to fill out the 2018-19 FAFSA, but does not contain all of the same features as fafsa.gov. An enhanced version will be released in the fall when the 2019-20 FAFSA is available and will offer “additional functionality.” The app was first announced in November 2017 by Dr. A. Wayne Johnson, the former Chief Operating Officer of FSA, at the FSA Training Conference. Dr. Johnson said that the app would be the first of many steps to improve customer experience.

A link to the Electronic Announcement is found at: https://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/081618myStudentAidMobileApp.html

Senator Booker introduces bill to simplify FAFSA

On August 16, 2018, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), joined by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Doug Jones (D-AL), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), re-introduced S. 3353, the Simplifying Financial Aid for Students Act of 2018, a bill designed to streamline the financial aid application process for undergraduate and graduate students.
S. 3353 would:

  • Deem a student eligible for a zero expected family contribution if the student’s parents or the student are recipients of any means-tested program;
  • Modify the simplified needs analysis formula by proposing a pathways approach based on income tax filing characteristics;
  • Transform the FAFSA to use the most minimal set of data elements when assessing a student’s need;
  • Coordinate between the Department of Education, the Internal Revenue Service, and other Departments and Agencies to determine eligibility for an automatic zero expected family contribution;
  • Codify the prior-prior year data into law;
  • Make FAFSA accessible for completion on a mobile device;
  • Eliminate the Selective Service registration and drug convictions from student eligibility criteria for federal financial aid;
  • Streamline determinations and verification for homeless and foster youth; and
  • Make DREAMers eligible for federal financial aid.

A copy of the press release is found at: https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=839

Bloomberg News reports on IRS decision to allow employer to offer student loan repayment benefit

On August 20, 2018, Bloomberg News reported that an IRS decision would allow an employer to offer a student loan repayment benefit as an element of its retirement plan. The decision would permit an unnamed employer’s plan to tie 401(k) contributions to student loan repayment contributions. The Bloomberg News article referenced a 2017 study, conducted by American Student Assistance (ASA), of 500 people between the ages of 22 and 33, which found that 86 percent of young workers would stay with their employer for five years if the employer helped pay off their student loans.

A copy of the Bloomberg News article, which provides a link to the IRS decision and the ASA survey, is found at: https://www.bna.com/irs-clears-path-n73014481867/

President Trump announces intent to nominate Robert L. King as Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education

On August 21, 2018, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Robert L. King to be Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education at the Department of Education. Mr. King is currently the President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. He previously served as the President and CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation and the Chancellor of the State University of New York system.

Principal Deputy Under Secretary Diane Auer Jones has been delegated the roles of Under Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. Once Mr. King is confirmed, Ms. Jones will remain as Principal Deputy Under Secretary.

The nomination announcement is found at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/president-donald-j-trump-announces-intent-nominate-appoint-designate-personnel-key-administration-posts/

IRS introduces new tax transcript with redacted data

On August 22, 2018, the IRS announced that it will be publishing a new format for individual tax transcripts that will redact personally identifiable information from the Form 1040 series. The new format will be available as of September 23, 2018. Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter said: “Since the IRS joined in partnership with the states and tax industry in 2015, we’ve made great progress in our effort to combat stolen identity refund fraud…We believe the change we are announcing today will better protect taxpayer data from unauthorized disclosure and theft.”

A copy of the IRS press release is found at: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-to-introduce-new-tax-transcript-to-better-protect-taxpayer-data

Lawsuit filed against Department of Education over delay in state authorization for distance education rules

On August 23, 2018, two unions, the National Education Association (NEA) and the California Teachers Association (CTA), sued the Department of Education after the Secretary of Education published a notice in the Federal Register on July 3, 2018, delaying by two years selected provisions in the state authorization on distance education rules that were to go into effect on July 1, 2018. NEA and CTA are represented by the National Student Legal Defense Network, a nonprofit organization that advocates for student rights through litigation, which filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit challenges the Department’s delay of requirements for online universities to notify students that the programs in which they are enrolled or plan to enroll in may fail to meet state licensing standards or may face adverse actions from the state or accreditor.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen said that the Department’s decision to delay the rules is a “brazen attack on student rights…Without these rules, current and prospective students will remain in the dark. Students will be denied critical information about which programs are right for them and which would be a waste of their time and money.”

A copy of NEA’s press release is found at: http://www.nea.org/home/73914.htm

Senate approves FY 2019 Defense, Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations bill

On August 23, 2018, the Senate approved an $857 billion FY 2019 Departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (H.R. 6157) for award year 2019-2020, by a vote of 85-7. The Defense funding bill was paired with the Labor, HHS, and Education funding bill. The bipartisan bill increases the maximum Pell Grant to $6,195, provides level funding for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and Federal Work-Study (FWS) programs at $840 million and $1.1 billion, respectively, and allocates funds to assist borrowers who qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program but were enrolled in the wrong repayment plan.

The Statement of Administration (SAP) included in the bill provides the Trump Administration’s views of the FY 2019 funding bill, which includes the Administration’s objections to the funding level for Student Aid Administration, which is $93 million below the FY 2019 Budget request. The FY 2019 Budget request increase was to service the increasing volume of Federal student loans, to improve cybersecurity, and to protect the data of 40 million Americans with student loans. The Administration also opposes the provision that would constrain the Department of Education’s authority in awarding a new servicing contract. Finally, the Administration also opposes the “wasteful $350 million funding level for a temporary benefit in the Federal Direct Student Loan program that expands Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) eligibility.” The Administration had proposed the elimination of the PSLF program.

The Senate has passed nine of the 12 annual funding bills for FY 2019, while the House has passed only six. Differences between the House and Senate bills will have to be worked out in conference. Current funding is set to end on September 30, 2018.

A copy of the Statement of Administration Policy is found at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/saphr6157s_20180815.pdf

ED reminds institutions that GE program data for 2017-2018 is due October 1, 2018

On August 24, 2018, the Department of Education released Electronic Announcement #117 reminding institutions that gainful employment program data for the 2017-2018 award year is due by October 1, 2018. Detailed information is provided in the “NSLDS Gainful Employment Guide” available on the NSLDS User Documentation page of IFAP.

A copy of the Electronic Announcement is found at: https://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/082418GEEA117GEReportingfor201718.html

A copy of the NSLDS GE Guide is found at: https://ifap.ed.gov/nsldsmaterials/attachments/NSLDSGainfulEmploymentUserGuide.pdf

CFPB’s Student Loan Ombudsman resigns in protest

On August 27, 2018, Seth Frotman, Student Loan Ombudsman, submitted his resignation to Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Mick Mulvaney, in protest about the current treatment of consumers. In the resignation letter, he said that under Acting Director Mulvaney’s leadership, “it has become clear that consumers no longer have a strong, independent Consumer Bureau on their side.” Mr. Frotman went on to say that the Acting Director has “used the Bureau to serve the wishes of the most powerful financial companies in America.” He enumerated the changes made to the Bureau in recent months:

  • The current leadership has undercut the CFPB staff working to secure relief for consumers including student loan borrowers;
  • The current leadership has undermined the Bureau’s independent enforcement of the law; and
  • The current leadership has turned its back on young people and their financial futures.

Mr. Frotman said that he chose to resign in protest because “the damage you have done to the Bureau betrays the families and sacrifices the financial futures of millions of Americans in communities across the country.”

A copy of Mr. Frotman’s resignation letter is found at: https://www.nclc.org/images/pdf/student_loans/Frotman_Letter.pdf

Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Bobby Scott (D-VA) said that Seth Frotman’s resignation “is further evidence that the bureau’s current leadership is failing to do its job on behalf of America’s 44 million student loan borrowers.”

A copy of Congressman Scott’s statement is found at: https://bobbyscott.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/ranking-member-scott-reacts-to-resignation-of-cpb-s-student-loan

Education Secretary issues an extension in ACICS matter

By order dated August 28, 2018, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos extended the deadline for a second time for the Senior Department Official to file a response to the submission of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (“ACICS”) to September 28, 2018. The original deadline was July 30, 2018 and was then extended to September 4, 2018.

A copy of the Order is found at: http://www.acics.org/uploadedFiles/Hot_Topics/Secretarial%20Order%20Granting%20Second%20Extension%208.28.2018.pdf

Sharon Bob

SHARON H. BOB PH.D., Higher Education Specialist on Policy and Regulation, is a member of the Education Group at the Washington, DC law firm of Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville, PC. Dr. Bob advises all sectors of higher education regarding strategic issues pertaining to their participation in the federal student financial assistance programs, accreditation, licensure, education tax benefits, and related regulatory matters.

Contact Information: Sharon H. Bob, Ph.D. // Higher Education Specialist // Powers Pyles Sutter and Verville, PC // 1501 M Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005 // 202-872-6772 // Sharon.Bob@PowersLaw.com // http://www.powerslaw.com


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