Press Release

Statement From Wil Del Pilar, Vice President for Higher Education, on the Trump Administration’s Borrower Defense to Repayment Final Rule

Washington (August 30, 2019) – Today, Wil Del Pilar, vice president for higher education at The Education Trust, issued the following statement on the Trump administration’s “borrower defense to repayment” final rule:

“The Trump administration has once again decided to prop up predatory for-profit education companies and Wall Street shareholders at the expense of students. Today’s Department of Education announcement of their new ‘borrower defense to repayment’ rule sends a clear message: students who are preyed upon and defrauded by for-profit colleges are on their own. Put simply, the Department’s final rule damages the ability of any defrauded or misled borrower to get their federal loans discharged.

Students from low-income families and students of color disproportionately enroll in for-profit colleges, in part due to predatory and questionable recruiting tactics in this sector. Many of these colleges leave students with worthless credentials and unaffordable debt, or with debt and no degree or credential at all.

The borrower defense to repayment provision was created in federal law 25 years ago to keep students from being crushed under the weight of debt they shouldn’t be forced to repay if their college deceives them and abruptly closes, like ITT Technical Institute and Corinthian Colleges. Instead of creating a fairer and more streamlined process for students to get the loan relief they deserve, the Department has created several insurmountable barriers for borrowers to overcome to assert their right to relief, prevented students from exercising their constitutional right of access to the courts to handle disputes with their colleges, and failed to craft a rule that will allow for proactive intervention to stop schools from engaging in unscrupulous behavior — all to the detriment of students and taxpayers.

The Department’s final rule, combined with the 180,000 borrower defense claims currently held in limbo due to the Department’s willful inaction, shows what we already know to be true: this administration will not protect students from bad actors in higher education.”