Virginia joins 18 states in suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over borrower protections
Richmond, VA –Progress Virginia, the state’s leading voice for progressive values, today thanked Attorney General Mark Herring for his strong defense of Virginia students who have been defrauded by for-profit colleges.Herring’s office announced this morning Virginia is joining 18 other states to file suit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for delaying implementation of protections for both students and taxpayers against predatory “schools.”
“Virginia students deserve every opportunity to succeed but too many have been denied a fair shot by predatory and deceptive for-profit colleges,” said Progress Virginia executive director Anna Scholl. “The Borrower Defense Rule put in place by the Obama Administration would have protected both students and taxpayers against scams from schools like Corinthian. We’ve spoken to so many people who took on burdensome student loans to obtain a degree from a for-profit school and been unable to find a job in their field because of the school’s poor curriculum and false promises. No one who scams Virginia students out of their future should benefit from taxpayer dollars. We’re so grateful to Attorney General Mark Herring for standing up for hard working families.”
The Borrower Defense Rule is intended to support students like Jessica King, who obtained a medical assistant diploma from the now-defunct Corinthian College in Hampton Roads. After graduation she was unable to obtain a job in her field and potential employers informed her the Corinthian degree was virtually worthless. Even though she was unable to find a medical assistant position, Corinthian still claimed King owed over $32,000 in loans.
Conservative legislators in the Virginia General Assembly have repeatedly rejected bills designed to support Virginia borrowers, including proposals to allow Virginia student loan borrowers to refinance their loans the way you can a mortgage or to establish a Virginia Student Loan Borrowers Bill of Rights.
Over 1 million Virginians owe over $30 billion in outstanding student loans. Nationally, student loan debt tops $1.4 trillion. In 2015, the average student debt of a Virginia college graduate was over $27,000.