Scott Statement on Department of Education’s Final Borrowers Defense Rule

WASHINGTON – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Department of Education released a final Borrowers Defense rule

“The Trump administration’s Borrowers Defense rule is the latest example of this Department’s erosion of consumer protections for student borrowers. Rather than supporting students cheated out of their education, the administration created a gratuitously complex, individualized process for evaluating claims that will shield predatory schools from accountability and deny defrauded borrowers billions of dollars in relief.

“With this rule, the Department cuts off access to desperately needed relief for students defrauded by predatory, for-profit schools. This rule makes clear that unless defrauded borrowers present a technically pristine case, they will be denied relief simply because they did not learn that they were defrauded early enough, and others will be denied their day in court.

“Additionally, this rule reduces the amount of quality financial information that risky schools must provide to the Department. By eliminating key reporting requirements from the 2016 Borrowers Defense rule, the Department has willfully blinded itself to institutional risk factors—exposing taxpayers to billions of dollars in potential liabilities.

“After ignoring multiple congressional inquiries regarding its handling of borrowers defense claims, the Trump administration is sending an alarming message: Schools can cheat student borrowers and still reap the rewards of federal student aid.

“The Department failed to heed public comment from students, consumers, and Members of Congress in finalizing this rule, and Congress must act to put student borrowers first.” 


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