Durbin, Murray, Blumenthal, Warren, Brown Continue To Push DeVos To Provide Debt Relief To Defrauded Student Borrowers
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) urged the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to provide borrower defense relief for students who attended a number of institutions that ED cut off from Title IV participation as a result of fraud or other consumer misconduct. In addition, the Senators urged Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to use her authority to extend the closed school discharge look-back window in several cases.
A recent report by the National Student Legal Defense Network (Student Defense) highlights a number of cases in which ED has taken administrative action against an institution for misrepresentations to students and other consumer fraud—in many cases cutting the institution off from Title IV funding. Specifically, the report identified Computer Systems Institute (CSI), Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business, Marinello School of Beauty, Medtech College, and Charlotte School of Law.
Despite taking action against these institutions based on its own findings of misconduct or the findings of another state or federal entity, ED has failed to provide the relief to which the victims of this misconduct are entitled under the borrower defense provision of the Higher Education Act. While ED took the appropriate action to protect against further student harm by eliminating these institutions from the Title IV program, it has not used its authority to remedy the harm already done by these institutions to thousands of students.
“While ED refuses to use its own findings of misconduct against these institutions to provide relief to borrowers, findings of misconduct by State attorneys general providing the basis for borrower defense relief for students who attended these and many other institutions have gone without review or decision by you. At the same time, ED continues to deny borrower defense claims from borrowers who attended these institutions. This is unconscionable, but not an accident,” the Senators wrote. “We urge you to use the evidence and findings in ED’s possession as the basis for long-overdue borrower defense findings and provide immediate relief to eligible borrowers.”
Durbin, Murray, Blumenthal, Warren, and Brown have been active in calling for borrower defense relief for students defrauded by for-profit colleges, including those cases cited by Student Defense in its report.
Full text of the letter is available here and below: