Sept. 18, 2018
Federal Judge Recognizes That Students Have Suffered Enough; Delayed Student Protections Could Take Effect in October
Statement of Adam Pulver, Attorney, Public Citizen
Note: Late Monday, a federal judge gave the U.S. Department of Education less than 30 days to decide whether to further delay implementation of a 2016 rule designed to protect students from being ripped off by for-profit colleges. The judge was skeptical that the department would legally be able to issue a new delay rule that complies with the law within that time. The judge’s ruling came in a case filed by Public Citizen and the Project on Predatory Student Lending on behalf of two former students of a for-profit college. The court also set an expedited schedule to consider an industry challenge to the 2016 rule. Absent further action, the 2016 protections will go into effect in early October. The judge ruled on Sept. 12 that the Department of Education did not comply with the law when it repeatedly delayed the 2016 rule.
We are pleased that U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss recognizes the importance of resolving this case swiftly. Judge Moss correctly noted that this case is about delay and that “time is of the essence.” He rightly pointed out that defrauded students have suffered while the Trump administration’s Department of Education has unlawfully delayed – and delayed and delayed again – critical protections adopted in 2016.
The Trump administration should now give students their rightful safeguards – which were supposed to go into effect more than 14 months ago. The for-profit college industry should not be able to mislead students and encourage them to take out burdensome loans for useless classes that leave students laden with debt. Nor should the industry be able to deprive students of their day in court to challenge fraud and deception. The 2016 rule would alleviate these students’ plight. The department should allow it take effect as soon as possible.