BOSTON GLOBE: Education Dept. failing US students, Warren says

Career College Central Summary:

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren chastised the US Department of Education for what she says is a failure to enforce federal higher education rules at the expense of millions of students victimized by questionable for-profit colleges and student loan servicers.
  • In a speech delivered Wednesday afternoon, Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, called on the Education Department to “get tough” and “show that there’s a real cop on the beat.” She also called on Congress to hold the department accountable for its actions.
  • Warren recommends external checks on the department such as moving the student loan complaint system out of the Department of Education and over to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which she helped establish.
  • “We don’t trust a bank to handle its own complaints, and we shouldn’t trust the federal student loan program to do it either,” Warren said.
  • “There are real reasons to worry about whether the Department of Education is committed to enforcing federal rules designed to help students,” she said.
  • She cites to two specific examples where she asserts that the Department of Education failed America’s students.
  • Instead of acting on concerns of financial misconduct by Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit institution that has declared bankruptcy, Warren accuses the department of allowing the college to keep enrolling students and draining more federal funds despite years of awareness about concerns at the school. At its peak, the college had 120 campuses and enrolled more than 100,000 students.
  • “When Corinthian’s dangerous mix of mismanagement and deception finally blew up, the Department stepped in to bail out the college and keep it alive longer,” Warren said.
  • Arne Duncan, secretary of the Department of Education, announced this week that the department would forgive the loans for students defrauded by Corinthian. But Warren says he should do more — “particularly since the students were defrauded while the Department of Education passed up one opportunity after another to stop Corinthian from cheating more students.”

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