MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Now has joined a coalition of 55 groups from across the country submitting formal comment to the federal Department of Education opposing moves by the Trump administration to strip students of protections from predatory for profit colleges. At issue are moves by the Department of Education to weaken or not enforce “gainful employment” rules that require career education programs actually prepare students for employment in order to receive federal aid and rules to ensure neither students nor taxpayers are harmed by wrongdoing by for profit colleges.
“The Trump administration has it completely wrong,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “We ought to be protecting the students who are working hard to get job skills. But instead, Donald Trump and his Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are protecting the predatory for profit colleges whose sleazy scams leave students deep in debt with no marketable job skills.”
In their comments, One Wisconsin Now and partner organizations wrote:
As organizations working on behalf of students, consumers, veterans, faculty and staff, civil rights, and college access, we strongly oppose the delay, dismantling, or weakening of the gainful employment regulations finalized in October 2014 and the “borrower defense to repayment” and college accountability regulations finalized in November 2016. Students, veterans, and taxpayers have waited far too long already for these critical protections from unmanageable student debt, sudden school closures, and waste, fraud and abuse in higher education. Students and taxpayers cannot afford a “pause” in the Education Department’s progress against fraud and waste
The coalition also notes in their comments that:
The Department has in its possession evidence that students were defrauded at many schools, including Corinthian Colleges, Marinello School of Beauty, ATI Career Training Center, Westwood College, Career Education Corporation schools, FastTrain College, MedTech College and Globe University and Minnesota School of Business. We are deeply disturbed by news reports that the Department has not approved a single new borrower defense claim since January 20. Many borrowers have been waiting for more than a year for the Department to act.
Ross concluded, “The students and taxpayers scammed by for profit colleges are being victimized a second time by the owner of the shuttered ‘Trump University’ and his billionaire heir Secretary of Education, with financial interests in a student debt collection firm, by their refusal to crack down of the perpetrators.”