U.S. Halts New Rules Aimed at Abuses by For-Profit Colleges


The Trump administration is formally reconsidering — and may dismantle — two new rules that were a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s crackdown on predatory for-profit colleges.

The announcement by the Education Department on Wednesday freezes changes that would speed up and expand a system for erasing the federal loan debt of student borrowers who were cheated by colleges that acted fraudulently. It also throws into limbo what is known as the gainful employment mandate, which cuts off loans to colleges if their graduates do not earn enough money to pay off their student debt. Continue reading


No Profit in Betsy DeVos

Gail Collins OCT. 27, 2017

Perhaps you’re wondering how Betsy DeVos is doing.
Or maybe not, unless you’re planning to go to a Halloween party dressed as the secretary of education.
DeVos is the superrich Republican donor who once led a crusade to reform troubled Michigan public schools by turning them into truly terrible private ones. Now she’s in the Trump cabinet, and she seems to be dedicating a lot of her time to, um, lowering higher education. Continue reading

We Will Keep Suing.’ 17 States Slam Betsy DeVos for Blocking Rules on For-Profit Colleges

We Will Keep Suing.’ 17 States Slam Betsy DeVos for Blocking Rules on For-Profit Colleges

By Katie Reilly
October 18, 2017

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum on “A Conversation On Empowering Parents” moderated by Paul Peterson on Sept. 28, 2017 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Democratic attorneys general in 17 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over the department’s decision to block Obama-era protections for students attending for-profit colleges. Continue reading

Betsy DeVos Accused Students Who Were Defrauded by For-Profit Colleges of Wanting “Free Money”

Betsy DeVos Accused Students Who Were Defrauded by For-Profit Colleges of Wanting “Free Money”

September 26, 2017


Betsy DeVos must love negative attention. You see, usually the secretary of education, though an important position, isn’t an incredibly public one. I mean, sure, we all knew Arne Duncan played basketball, and were aware of his major policy initiatives (Race to the Top, for example), but it’s not like every few days we’d get headlines about all of Arne Duncan’s controversial comments. But obviously we are very far from usual times, and Betsy DeVos is far from a usual secretary of education. So far, during her time in the office, she has repeatedly worked to make it more difficult for people to pay back their student loans, rolled back Obama-era policies that strove to fight campus rape, and defended the rights of shady for-profit colleges that rip off students. Because nothing says “coherent education policy” like “constantly screwing over students.” Her latest disaster fits right in with all of her other terrible disasters. Continue reading

Trump and DeVos fuel a for-profit college comeback

Trump and DeVos fuel a for-profit college comeback
Scrutiny of fraud fades as feds go lax on an industry that Obama targeted.
08/31/2017 04:58 AM EDT

For-profit colleges are winning their battle to dismantle Obama-era restrictions as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rolls back regulations, grants reprieves to schools at risk of losing their federal funding and stocks her agency with industry insiders.
More than seven months into the Trump administration, DeVos has:

  • Moved to gut two major Obama-era regulations reviled by the industry that would have cut off funding to low-performing programs and made it easier for defrauded students to wipe out their loans;
  • Appointed a former for-profit college official, Julian Schmoke Jr., to lead the team charged with policing fraud in higher education — one of a slew of industry insiders installed in key positions. Schmoke is a former dean at DeVry University, whose parent company agreed last year to pay $100 million to resolve allegationsthe company misled students about their job and salary prospects;
  • Stopped approving new student-fraud claims brought against for-profit schools. The Education Department has a backlog of more than 65,000 applications from students seeking to have their loans forgiven on the grounds they were defrauded, some of which date to the previous administration.

Continue reading

Trump administration selects former DeVry official to lead college enforcement unit

Trump administration selects former DeVry official to lead college enforcement unit
08/30/2017 12:03 PM EDTUpdated 08/30/2017 04:13 PM EDT

The Trump administration has tapped a former for-profit college official to lead the Education Department unit that polices fraud in higher education.

Julian Schmoke Jr., who previously directed campus operations at West Georgia Technical College and served as a dean at DeVry University, will be the department’s new chief enforcement officer, according to an internal email obtained by POLITICO.

Schmoke will lead the Student Aid Enforcement Unit, which was established by the Obama administration to more aggressively combat fraud and deceptive practices at colleges and universities. Continue reading

For-Profit Colleges Renew Efforts to Destroy Key Accountability Rule

For-Profit Colleges Renew Efforts to Destroy Key Accountability Rule


MARCH 13, 2017








Buoyed by the ascendancy of Donald Trump, America’s predatory for-profit colleges are renewing their multi-front fight to destroy a key measure to hold them accountable: the gainful employment rule. The new battle plan includes pushes in Congress and before the Betsy DeVos Department of Education, plus two new lawsuits aimed at the regulation, including one, in Arizona, that has not been previously reported. It looks like this harmful effort is rapidly gaining traction. Continue reading

Student loan defaults are rising faster than you think


By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel March 14







Gan Gola of Los Angeles holds a ball and chain representing his college loan debt during protests in Washington in 2011. (Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press)

A new analysis of federal student loans reveals that the number of people severely behind on repaying their debt has soared in the past year, painting a bleak picture of one of the largest government programs.

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) released a study Tuesday that found that millions of people had not made a payment on $137 billion in federal student loans for at least nine months in 2016, a 14 percent increase in defaults from a year earlier. The consumer watchdog used the latest data from the Education Department, which manages $1.3 trillion in federal student debt owed by 42.4 million Americans. Continue reading

Trump administration rolls back protections for people in default on student loans

Trump administration rolls back protections for people in default on student loans


By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel March 17








President Trump listens as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks during a meeting with parents and teachers on Feb. 14 at the White House. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Days after a report on federal student loans revealed a double-digit rise in defaults, President Trump’s administration revoked federal guidance Thursday that barred student debt collectors from charging high fees on past-due loans. Continue reading