Sep 2, 2019
Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Secretary of Education, announced a new policy to make it harder for students who were defrauded by for-profit schools to have their student loan debts forgiven. In so doing, DeVos is overturning an Obama-era policy.
DeVos’ new policy forces students to prove their colleges intentionally deceived them “with reckless disregard for the truth” and that the student relied on their claims when deciding to enroll at the school. They would have to show that the school’s deception harmed them financially, and must make a claim within three years. There previously was no time-limit on submitting claims.
The students who attend these types of schools, rather than more established colleges and universities, most often come from working class backgrounds. This policy is an attack on them and favors the banks and other lenders working hand-in-hand with these schools.
Of course, attacks on poor and working class students’ access to higher education didn’t start with Trump or DeVos. College tuition costs have skyrocketed in recent decades, quadrupling over and above the pace of overall inflation. Education for poor and working class students at the lower grades has also been eroded by the growth of charter schools, making it more difficult for them to attend more established colleges and universities.
The politicians of both parties have accepted and participated in the attacks that have created the current situation. DeVos’ policies are just one more nail in the coffin.