Home News Secretary DeVos Approves New Methodology for Providing Student Loan Relief to Borrower Defense Applicants

Secretary DeVos Approves New Methodology for Providing Student Loan Relief to Borrower Defense Applicants

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WASHINGTON –Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the Department has implemented a new methodology for assessing borrower defense to repayment (BDR) claims, many of which were left behind by the previous administration. The new methodology relies on publicly available earnings data and a scientifically robust statistical methodology to determine harm.

“Despite the mess we inherited from the previous administration, we committed from day one to getting this right for students and taxpayers,” said Secretary DeVos. “We cannot tolerate fraud in higher education, nor can we tolerate furiously giving away taxpayer money to those who have submitted a false claim or aren’t eligible for relief. This new methodology treats students fairly and ensures that taxpayers who did not go to college or who faithfully paid off their student loans do not shoulder student loan costs for those who didn’t suffer harm.”

As illustrated in the chart below, the new borrower defense relief methodology relies on publicly available data to compare median earnings of graduates who have made BDR claims to the median earnings of graduates from comparable programs. If the earnings from the school in question under the BDR application are lower than the median for that program at all comparable schools, then they will be determined to have suffered harm and will receive student loan relief, either in full or in part:

  • Earnings lower than two standard deviations from the median will result in full relief.
  • Successful BDR applicants whose program earnings are lower than the median but higher than two standard deviations from the median will receive tiered relief of either 25%, 50%, or 75%, based on their program’s earnings deviation from the median.

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