In pursuit of a higher education, many hopeful students have found themselves with a host of options to choose among. Many of the options are legitimate; the various accredited colleges around the United States, for example. But just like every legitimate organization, there come fakers to exploit the uncertain out of money. Thousands of graduate students have found their degrees useless, because the colleges they came from have bogus accreditation, like the infamous University of Phoenix.
Fortunately, times are changing. On Wednesday, two Congress members discussed with the Board of Education to streamline the process of loan forgiveness for students specifically taken advantage of by bogus colleges. However, the current bill for repaying defrauded students is still under contest for a better draft.
Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Maxine Waters of California, both Democrats, focused their discussion on the revising of a borrower defense rule in the bill. They found the proposed changes would in fact create even more hurdles for students, instead of getting them the money back they are owed.
In its current state the borrower defense only allows students to file for individual appeals, whereas the two Congresswoman argued it’s more efficient to let students appeal as a group. The groups should also have the backing of a borrower advocate or state attorney, they contested. Warren commented these individual appeals were wasteful in resources, taxing on the administration, and simply created more barriers for students to get their money returned.
This was not all, as another draft rule was under revision. The Department of Education looks to replace a current statute of limitations on how many times a student could appeal for reimbursement. However, it would instead put a time limit on the duration for the actual reimbursement. Both Congresswoman found it entirely useless to students and hardly an alteration to the first draft rule, claiming if there’s no limit to how long the Department of Education can collect on outstanding loans, why then a limit for paying back victims of fraud?
As it stands, a “mandatory arbitration” ban was put in place which forced defrauded students to settle their claims on their own terms. But, many agreements still need to be worked out before Friday’s end, and without such agreements, the Department of Education will instate whatever rules it wants.
Many students still go on today without realizing predatory for-profit colleges do exist, but fortunately the rules of returning their income is slowly becoming better each meeting of each year.