WASHINGTON—Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ decision to delay implementation of and to renegotiate the Borrower Defense to Repayment and Gainful Employment regulations:
“The Department of Education has an obligation to ensure that federal funds are never used to support fraud and misrepresentation by predatory for-profit colleges; yet once again, Secretary DeVos fails to understand or uphold the department’s mission to protect all students. The Secretary of Education’s decision to delay and renegotiate the Borrower Defense and Gainful Employment regulations is a direct attack on federal student loan borrowers—especially the most vulnerable students in our higher education system: low-income students and students of color. These rules under the Higher Education Act of 1965—a law first passed at the height of the civil rights movement—provide critical protections for students seeking higher education and a better life for their families.
For far too long, predatory for-profit colleges have sold students on the promise of receiving an excellent education, only to burden them with crushing student loan debt and limited job prospects. The 2016 Borrower Defense and Gainful Employment regulations were meant to prevent the unchecked exploitation of students and prohibited the use of forced arbitration clauses by schools that receive federal funding.
While the Department of Education needlessly delays these regulations, Secretary DeVos and the department must act quickly to protect student loan borrowers from deceit, strengthen protections, and ensure accountability among for-profit colleges that engage in illegal and deceptive practices against students.
The Department of Education must make it easier, not more difficult, for those seeking help when they are wronged.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.