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US DeVos May Make It Harder for Students to Prove They Were Defrauded

02:46  05 january  2018
02:46  05 january  2018 Source:   usnews.com

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is revising Obama-era regulations which allowed students to prove they were defrauded by for-profit rules that student loan advocacy groups say would make it significantly more difficult for students defrauded by for-profit colleges to prove their plight and

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is revising Obama-era regulations which allowed students to prove they were defrauded by for-profit colleges. The draft rules from DeVos and her team would raise the bar by requiring students to prove that a school intentionally deceived them .

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos attends an event to celebrate Congress passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with Republican members of the House and Senate on the South Lawn of the White House December 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. The tax bill is the first major legislative victory for the GOP-controlled Congress and Trump since he took office almost one year ago.: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is revising Obama-era regulations which allowed students to prove they were defrauded by for-profit colleges. © (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is revising Obama-era regulations which allowed students to prove they were defrauded by for-profit colleges.

The Department of Education appears poised to pitch new rules that student loan advocacy groups say would make it significantly more difficult for students defrauded by for-profit colleges to prove their plight and qualify for federal student loan debt relief.

Proposal drafts obtained by Politico and BuzzFeed News show how Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and department officials are hoping to revise an Obama-era regulation known as “borrower defense,” which outlines how student loan borrowers who have been defrauded can apply to have their loans forgiven.

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The new rules would make it harder for students to make use of what’s called “borrower defense,” a form of loan forgiveness that applies to students In October 2017, one month before the Obama-era rules were set to begin, DeVos announced that the rule would be delayed, paving the way for the

Students would have to meet a “clear and convincing” standard of evidence – a more rigorous measure than the “preponderance of evidence” standard set The second session is slated to begin next week, and the third is set for February. News of the proposed loan-relief revisions comes just weeks after

Toward the end of the Obama administration, Education Department officials streamlined the regulation in the wake of investigations that found for-profit schools were misleading students about the value and cost of their degrees, their potential future earnings and their expected debt burdens.

The draft rules from DeVos and her team would raise the bar by requiring students to prove that a school intentionally deceived them. Students would have to meet a “clear and convincing” standard of evidence – a more rigorous measure than the “preponderance of evidence” standard set by the Obama administration.

Such a proposal echoes how DeVos rescinded Obama-era guidance on campus sexual assault, marking a contentious shift in how schools police compliance with Title IX, a federal law barring discrimination based on sex.

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Instead, students will have to prove their claims individually. The rules are DeVos ’s rewrite of an Obama-era regulation published in 2016 and In ways big and small, the new version makes it harder for students to win debt forgiveness. “Postsecondary students are adults who can be reasonably

“Postsecondary students are adults who can be reasonably expected to make informed decisions if they have access to relevant and reliable data about But advocates for student borrowers contended that no amount of documentation might matter if relief applicants are required to prove not only the

The proposed revision isn’t necessarily surprising: DeVos called for a regulatory reset of Obama-era regulations on for-profit colleges back in June and has criticized the loan-relief framework on many occasions, saying defrauded students have simply had to “raise his or her hands to be entitled to so-called free money.”

A renegotiation of the borrower-defense regulation is currently ongoing, with an expert panel convened by the Education Department wrapping the last day of its first of three three-day sessions in November. The second session is slated to begin next week, and the third is set for February.

News of the proposed loan-relief revisions comes just weeks after the department unveiled a new student loan debt-relief plan that would provide only partial relief for some students defrauded by colleges, making the level of reimbursement received commensurate with borrowers’ current earnings.

More than 100,000 debt-relief claims are currently pending at the Department of Education – a backlog that’s existed for months. To date, the Education Department has approved for discharge 12,900 pending claims submitted by students who attended campuses operated by the now-shuttered for-profit giant Corinthian Colleges. About 8,600 pending claims have been denied.

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Education Dept. awards debt collection contract to company with ties to DeVos .
Performant Financial Corp. was one of two firms selected Thursday by the U.S. Department of Education to help the agency collect overdue student loans. The deal with could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The decision to award contracts to Windham Professionals and Performant Financial Corp. — the company in which DeVos invested before becoming secretary — arrives a month after a federal judge ordered the department to complete its selection of a loan collector to put an end to a messy court battle.

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