Elizabeth Warren To Betsy DeVos: Cancel Student Debt For Defrauded Students

By on November 14, 2017

Close to 90,000 students across the country are victims of predatory colleges that promised them the world after graduation, but left them instead with huge debts and no degree.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) expressed her dismay this week with the administration’s slow response to this outcome. So-called colleges, like ITT Technical Institute and Corinthian Colleges (both of which closed leaving tens of thousands of students without a degree but still owing money), have made life difficult for students all across America.

Furious at the outcomes that some of her constituents have faced, Warren has proposed an ideal solution: forgive all of the student loans that are still in place for these students.

That answer may sound extreme to some, but it’s actually a legitimate one that the Trump administration can utilize.

“The law says that when a predatory college breaks the law to trick students into enrolling, those students are entitled to have their federal student loans cancelled to help them start over,” Warren explained in a press release.

Yet so far, neither President Donald Trump nor his Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have indicated that they intend to utilize such a maneuver.

“We can’t leave these students holding the bag,” Warren said. “The Department [of Education] should immediately provide the full relief to which these and other defrauded borrowers are entitled under the law.”

Under the administration of former President Barack Obama, student borrowers making claims against predatory schools received a proper response to their complaints. Around 32,000 individual cases were resolved, allowing students who were denied a degree but forced to pay anyway the ability cancel their remaining loan payments.

Since Trump became president earlier this year, however, the Department of Education has approved ZERO of these applications, according to a report on the issue. That’s despite the fact that 87,000 student complaints have been made to the DOE.

For all of his talk about tax cuts contributing to the economy (an errant claim, by the way), Trump should really turn his focus to these students. Imagine what contributions they could make (through added spending power that would be freed up) if their remaining loans were canceled.

More than that, it’s simply the right thing to do: these students took out loans with the idea that they’d be able to use their degrees to help pay them off. Through no faults of their own, these students were instead denied the degrees they were seeking, yet still are expected to make payments for something they won’t receive.

It’s simply unfair, and the Trump administration can easily rectify these students’ financial woes. The question is, will they? Given that the president himself established “Trump University” — another one of these failing schools that dumped students to the curb without a degree — it’s not very likely that he’ll make the right decision.

Featured image credit: Edward Kimmel/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0