Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Facing Congressional Inquiry and Lawsuits filed by 2 Student Advocacy Orgs

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As House Democratic Representative Bobby Scott leads investigations on the role played by the U.S. Department of Education, in enabling unaccredited non-profit schools to mislead students, two (2) student advocacy organizations have also filed independent lawsuits against Betsy DeVos, the current Secretary of Education.

Under Ms. DeVos’ management, U.S. Department of Education oversaw the sale of 100 for-profits schools by Education Management Corporation to Dream Center Education Holdings in 2017. The sale included two for-profit schools, the Art Institute of Colorado and the Illinois Institute of Art (IIA), which at the time of the sale was already about to lose full-accreditation effective January 2018.

To make matters worse, the Department of Education allegedly did not take immediate action that would prevent the two schools from continuing their for-profit operations. As a result, the 2 non-accredited educational institutions, were able to mislead students, whilst helping them get access to student financial aid and loans as a means of financing their enrollment.

The colleges were later shutdown, but only after Dream Center Education had already collected millions in federal financial aid dollars. On the other hand, those who availed of student loans are burdened by debts that they invested on a college education that will, in no way, bring them any future benefits.

Around 900 student-loan borrowers who enrolled say they were scammed. Although, they have sought assistance from the Department of Education to cancel the federal student-loan, they have not received any response from the department regarding the matter.

One group of students will be represented by Harvard Law School’s “Project on Predatory Student Lending”. The other lawsuit, will be handled by the National Student Legal Defense Network.

Silvija Topić

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