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Lee, DeLauro Introduce House Version of PROTECT Students Act

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Cheye-Ann Corona

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. House Representatives Susie Lee (D-Nev.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) 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 predatory institutions, including for-profit colleges and universities. This legislation is a House version of the PROTECT Students Act of 2019 introduced by U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) in March.

"We applaud Reps. Lee and DeLauro for introducing this bill that would enact important protections for students against predatory institutions that affect low-income students the most, often leaving them with large debts they cannot afford to repay," said Center for Responsible Lending Senior Policy Associate Cheye-Ann Corona. "Given the lack of protections being exercised by the Department of Education under Secretary DeVos, the need for stronger accountability measures in higher education is more pressing than ever. CRL is pleased to see a bill that would improve oversight of for-profit colleges and reduce the number of students in default."

The PROTECT Students Act of 2019 would:

  • Improve the 2014 Gainful Employment (GE) rule to ensure that graduates who attended for-profit institutions find good-paying jobs that would allow them to repay their federal student loans;
  • 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;
  • 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.