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Student Defense, Project on Predatory Student Lending Blast Education Department Proposal

February 10, 2023 

Student Defense: | 202-734-7495
Project on Predatory Student Lending: | 603-689-8170 

Student Defense, Project on Predatory Student Lending Blast Education Department Proposal
Groups call on Department to prioritize enforcement instead of creating a new list

Student Defense and the Project on Predatory Student Lending (PPSL) today submitted comments in response to the Department of Education’s proposed Low-Value Post-Secondary Programs List announced last month. The organizations call on the Department to improve their information collection efforts to enforce federal policies and increase enforcement against troubled schools. The comments also recommend the Department centralize and better maintain publicly available information regarding school performance. 

“If schools are a bad value for students, why just put them on a list and then keep funding them?” said Student Defense Senior Counsel Libby Webster. “Instead of developing new metrics, the agency should focus on using existing enforcement authorities, reforming current accountability and oversight policies, and centralizing public access to information. Regardless of whether they publish this list, there needs to be increased oversight and concrete enforcement against schools that harm students.”

A recent Government Accountability Office report found the Department lacks policies around investigating and taking enforcement action against schools that have engaged in substantial misrepresentation. The analysis found the Department had only taken enforcement action against 13 schools from 2016-2021.

“To prospective students, the government’s willingness to send federal dollars in grants and loans signals approval and creates the impression that the institution and program are a safe bet,” said PPSL President and Director Eileen Connor. “We hear time and again that students would not have made the leap absent this perceived government endorsement. And then it’s too late. The government needs to do more to protect students from predatory schools and low-value programs. That means stepping up enforcement and oversight, not making a list.”

A full copy of these comments can be found here.