WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the Preventing Risky Operations from Threatening the Education and Career Trajectories of (PROTECT) Students Act of 2019, a bill to protect higher education students by improving oversight and accountability of colleges and universities, particularly for-profit institutions.

The bill would improve the 2014 Gainful Employment (GE) rule to ensure that graduates who attended for-profit institutions find good-paying jobs that will allow them to repay their federal student loans, and it would codify the 2016 Borrower Defense to Repayment rule that allows students to discharge federal loans if they can prove a college or university misled them to borrow money to pay their education.

"CRL applauds Sens. Hassan and Durbin for introducing this bill to protect students from predatory, for-profit institutions that grant subpar degrees at high cost, often affecting low-income students the most," said Center for Responsible Lending Senior Policy Associate Cheye-Ann Corona. "With Secretary DeVos and the Trump Administration teaming up to drastically reduce funding for higher education programs and propose tax cuts for for-profit institutions for the upcoming fiscal year, CRL is pleased to see a bill that strengthens the Gainful Employment rule among its many important provisions."

Additionally, the PROTECT Students Act of 2019 would:

  • Close the GI Bill loophole that benefits for-profit schools, and restores the cap on the amount of revenue for-profit colleges can receive from federally backed sources to 85 percent;
  • Improve oversight of for-profit colleges and universities seeking a nonprofit status, which currently allows these institutions to circumvent accountability measures; and
  • Create a For-profit Education Oversight Coordination Committee interagency to improve for-profit oversight and enforcement activities.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with a CRL spokesperson on this issue, please contact Vincenza Previte at vincenza.previte@responsiblelending.org.

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