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College Students Lose Obama-Era Protections

Betsy DeVos rolls back rules on student loans and for-profit colleges.

College Students Lose Obama-Era Protections

Austin's Carleton College graduation, June 2017. (Photo by reid.neureiter/ flickr CC 2.0)

Saying that they are “overly burdensome and confusing” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has halted two rules designed to protect college students from predatory lending and dubious for-profit colleges. With average starting salaries up 3 percent last year to its highest levels ever, just south of $50,000 a year, getting a college degree seems more like an imperative than ever. But student loan debt is also at an all-time high — with the average burden for students in their 20s who have loans (70 percent of all college students do) at $22,135. For 2016 graduates studies have pegged the number as high as $37,172. The Obama administration had put in place rules to protect students of for-profit colleges — the most vulnerable of this population.

Maria Danilov reports:

The Education Department announced Wednesday that it will change two key Obama-era rules governing student loan forgiveness in cases involving fraud and misconduct by universities.

The department said it will convene special committees to rewrite borrower defense to repayment and gainful employment regulations.

The rules were introduced last year as the department was processing claims from thousands of students who say there were defrauded by for-profit colleges.

Under the borrower defense rules, students could have their loans erased if their college misrepresented the quality of its programs or broke a “contractual promise” with its students. The gainful employment rule was designed to ensure that graduates would be able to earn enough money to pay off their student loan debt.

Get the details from Business Insider. Read about the immediate backlash. Remember, it was just in February that a judge approved a $25 million lawsuit settlement against Trump University.

Read more installments in our series “While He was Tweeting” — keeping an eye on Trump’s wrecking ball.