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DeVos’ Back-to-School List: For-Profit Leadership, Obstacles for Defrauded Students, Scaling Back Performance Accountability

The Trump Administration is undoing critical student protections

WASHINGTON - U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been hard at work ticking off a long back-to-school list of ways to make life more difficult for America’s college students, while enriching the predatory corporations and political donors that have long been her allies, a new Public Citizen report (PDF) shows.

The report, “University of Greed,” analyzes the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to unravel common sense protections that help shield students from predatory student debt collectors, provide financial relief for defrauded students, and regulate and identify for-profit and poor performing career training schools.

“College students heading back to school should guard their wallets from the con men and women that Trump and DeVos have unleashed on unsuspecting young adults trying to live the American Dream,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “Instead, DeVos has told scam artists that they're back in business, siding with predatory companies and against hardworking people seeking better lives.”

DeVos’ damaging and profit-centered initiatives over the past year and a half include:

  • Failing to crack down on bad schools;
  • Letting for-profit college profiteers run the department;
  • Delaying and preventing financial relief for defrauded students;
  • Scaling back accountability for poor career training programs;
  • Cancelling efforts to rein in predatory student debt collectors; and
  • -- more --

“While Betsy DeVos professes concern about burdening taxpayers with the cost of providing relief to defrauded students, she seems completely unconcerned about preventing institutions from offering shoddy education at high prices,” said Alan Zibel, research director of Public Citizen’s Corporate Presidency Project, and author of the report. “Without strong, well-enforced rules, bad actors will not stop misbehaving.”

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