WASHINGTON – Following continued advocacy by U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, the U.S. Department of Education announced that 155 Granite Staters who were defrauded by predatory for-profit colleges will receive a total of more than $2 million in borrower defense forgiveness.
Senator Hassan previously joined in efforts last year to overturn the Department of Education’s “borrower defense” rule, which effectively denied students who were cheated or defrauded by predatory for-profit colleges of the debt relief that they are entitled to under law, which the previous administration ended up vetoing. Last week, the Biden administration‘s Department of Education announced it would eliminate federal student loans for students defrauded by for-profit colleges.
“Students who have received a worthless degree from predatory for-profit colleges should not be burdened by thousands of dollars in student debt,” Senator Hassan said. “This student loan forgiveness to Granite Staters will make an enormous difference in the lives of these students, and provide them with the financial relief to potentially pursue other educational opportunities. I am glad that the Biden administration heeded my calls to provide this critical relief to students, and I will keep working to hold for-profit colleges accountable for their deceptive practices.”
The American Rescue Plan, which is now law, included legislation cosponsored by Senator Hassan to close a loophole that for-profit colleges use to increase their own profits by taking advantage of veterans, service members, and their families. Senator Hassan also joined in leading a group of her colleagues in calling on the previous administration’s Department of Education to hold corporate executives and shareholders of for-profit colleges personally and financially responsible for cheating students and to collect damages from them using its existing legal authority under the Higher Education Act of 1965.