Billionaire Betsy, champion of scamming colleges everywhere

DeVos has issued new rules that will deny billions of dollars in student loan relief to people who have been defrauded by bogus for-profit colleges.

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos listens during a Cabinet meeting in the White House in July 2019.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

At this point, we actually expect Betsy DeVos to stand in the way of student loan relief for young people who are buried under a mountain of loan debt.

She clearly believes that’s part of her job as U.S. secretary of education.

As we wrote recently, she and her staff have done everything possible to bungle a program designed to forgive $350 million in loans to public servants. Ninety-nine percent of the applicants — teachers, non-profit workers and the like — have been turned down.

Now we have this:

Last month, DeVos issued a set of rules that will deny billions of dollars in student loan relief to young people who have been defrauded by bogus for-profit colleges.

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The new regulations gut the Obama administration’s “borrower defense” rules of 2016, which were supposed to make it easy for defrauded people to recoup money. Young people were on track to recoup an estimated $17 billion, paid by the schools that had scammed them, typically issuing worthless degrees.

But DeVos immediately failed to process 180,000 applications for loan relief, and now she has issued a laundry list of new restrictions. Many of the new rules will make lawsuits against shady schools harder to press.

Young people, for instance, will have to gather their own proof that a school exploited them, even in cases in which the former school was shut down for fraud. And significantly, state attorneys general no longer can file class action lawsuits on behalf of a group of students.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who is spearheading an effort in Congress to overturn this particular rule by DeVos, rightly calls it “another Trump-DeVos giveaway.”

By the Department of Education’s own estimate, the estimated $17 billion in relief will be slashed to just $6 billion. And now you the taxpayer — not the predatory schools — will have to pick up the tab. DeVos let the schools off the hook.

Billionaire Betsy is doing her best to assure that a generation of Americans remain deeply mired in student loan debt.

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