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Whitney Barkley-Denney

Deputy Director of State Policy & Senior Policy Counsel

Whitney Barkley-Denney is a deputy director of state policy and a senior policy counsel, based in Durham, NC. She works with state legislatures, attorneys general, and governors to fight predatory lending, exploitative student loan practices, and unscrupulous debt collectors.

Prior to CRL, Whitney worked on a range of election law issues as director of the Michigan Election Law Project and field director for Election Protection 2008, coordinating law students and attorneys to monitor polls for election irregularities during the 2008 presidential campaign. Whitney clerked for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, serving in the Voter Protection Division, working to enforce the 1964 Voting Rights Act. She accepted a fellowship from Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps to do foreclosure assistance work with the Mississippi Center for Justice, developing legal and policy expertise in foreclosure, consumer lending, and for-profit colleges. In 2013 and 2014, Whitney was appointed to the US Department of Education's Federal Rulemaking Committee on Gainful Employment and Programmatic Integrity, helping to set federal financial policy for students.

Whitney attended The College of Charleston, in Charleston (SC), and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, being named 2009 Woman Law Student of the Year by the National Women Lawyers Association. When she's not at work, Whitney enjoys theater.


August 9, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The U.S. Department of Education announced its support of state laws and regulations addressing student loan servicing issues. This action reverses and corrects the anti-...
July 29, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the leadership of Independence University told its faculty the school will close on August 1 in an email that also instructed recipients not to inform students and borrowers...
July 9, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – One of the largest student loan debt servicers, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Authority (PHEAA), announced Thursday that it would no longer service student loans...
November 12, 2020
DURHAM, N.C. – Today, the Center for Responsible Lending released a report outlining higher education policy recommendations that states should enact to avoid repeating the unequal recovery of 2010,...