Held in contempt of court for illegally shaking down defrauded students for debts they don’t owe. Sued for sitting on thousands of valid debt forgiveness claims. Facing subpoenas in a growing accreditation scandal and calls for the firing of her top aide at the center of it. It’s no wonder Secretary DeVos is on edge and lashing out against any and every plan to address the $1.6T student debt crisis.
“Secretary DeVos has no one to blame but herself for the Department’s ever-growing list of student debt scandals after hiring every lobbyist she could find from the loan servicer and for-profit college industries to run the place,” said Derek Martin, Director of Allied Progress.
- Politico, 10.24: DeVos held in contempt for violating judge’s order on student loans: “A federal judge on Thursday held Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in contempt of court and imposed a $100,000 fine for violating an order to stop collecting on the student loans owed by students of a defunct for-profit college. The exceedingly rare judicial rebuke of a Cabinet secretary came after the Trump administration was forced to admit to the court earlier this year that it erroneously collected on the loans of some 16,000 borrowers who attended Corinthian Colleges despite being ordered to stop doing so.”
- Washington Post, 10.22: Trump administration let nearly $11 million in student aid go to unaccredited for-profit colleges: “A trove of documents released Tuesday by the House Education and Labor Committee shows the Education Department provided $10.7 million in federal loans and grants to students at the Illinois Institute of Art and the Art Institute of Colorado even though officials knew the for-profit colleges were not accredited and ineligible to receive such aid.”
- U.S. News and World Report, 10.22: House Democrats Threaten to Subpoena Betsy DeVos: “The subpoena threat comes amid new information about whether the Education Department allowed an operator of for-profit colleges to mislead students about their accreditation status: HOUSE DEMOCRATS threatened to subpoena Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, accusing her and high-ranking department officials of willfully obstructing their investigation into the Department of Education’s role in allowing the operator of two now-defunct for-profit colleges to mislead students and continue operating the schools despite losing their accreditation. […] Pulling the strings behind the scenes to do so, Scott said emails from Dream Center executives indicate, was principal deputy undersecretary Diane Auer Jones. Jones came to the department after working for and on behalf of for-profit operators.”
- Allied Progress: DeVos Must Fire Aid Who Lied to Congress About Accreditation Scandal: “It was bad enough Auer Jones moved heaven and earth so that a diploma mill could continue depriving student borrowers of the quality education they paid for. But she knowingly stepped over the law to do it, and then lied to Congress to cover it up.”
- Inside Higher Ed, 10.23: Massachusetts AG Sues DeVos Over Debt Relief: “Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Education Department seeking debt cancellation for 7,200 former Corinthian Colleges students. Healey’s office submitted an application for loan relief in 2015 on behalf of those students, who attended Everest Institute campuses in Massachusetts. The application was based on a state lawsuit against Corinthian, which found the for-profit chain had violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act. Although a federal court last year found the group application was a valid submission, the department has yet to agree to rule on the claims. The former Corinthian students have continued to face repayment and in some cases have had tax refunds seized or wages garnished.”
- Wall Street Journal, 10.24: Trump Education Official to Resign and Call for Mass Student-Loan Forgiveness: “A. Wayne Johnson, appointed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, calls the student-loan system ‘fundamentally broken’”
- York Daily Record, 10.23: Student loan debt: New study shows that 9% of Pa. students are defaulting within two years: “More than half of the students at one school in Lancaster defaulted in recent years.”