U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced on Aug. 10 that the U.S. Department of Education will eliminate an Obama-era rule protecting students from for-profit post-secondary schools that load their students with debt without equipping them with the skills to find jobs where they can earn enough to pay it off. The now-defunct rule withheld federal funding from educational institutions whose graduates’ student loan payments exceeded 30 percent of their discretionary income and 12 percent of their total earnings.
“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,” said Washington State Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s education committee.
According to a Department of Education assessment in 2017, 98 percent of the educational institutions that failed the department’s accountability standards were for-profit colleges.
DeVos’ announcement came only two weeks after she rolled back a policy designed to help defrauded students seek debt relief. She has also largely dismantled the Department of Education team responsible for investigating fraud and abuse in for-profit colleges — reducing its staff from about a dozen to only three.