Veterans, Service Members Press Trump Administration to Reinstate Student Loan Protections

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They provided feedback to Department of Education officials about regulations that were designed to aid federal student loan borrowers.

As the Trump administration begins the process of overhauling Obama-era regulations meant to protect federal student loan borrowers, mainly those attending for-profit colleges, one group is pressing Department of Education officials to maintain rigorous oversight: veterans and service members.

Nearly a dozen veterans and service members testified before Department of Education officials this week during two daylong public meetings held to collect feedback from stakeholders on how officials should rethink the regulations. And more than 30 organizations that support the rules wrote to the department expressing anger at its recent decision to pause the protections already in place.

“These protections are important to our organizations because service members, veterans, and their families are specifically targeted for fraud by unscrupulous colleges,” they wrote. “Often, the lowest quality education programs are those that engage in the most consumer fraud of veterans.”

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced plans in June to halt two regulations put in place by the previous administration: One, known as borrower defense, outlines how student loan borrowers who have been defrauded can apply to have their loans forgiven. The second, known as gainful employment, aims to hold schools accountable for outcomes of students by requiring schools to prove that their graduates’ incomes, compared to their debts, will allow them to pay back their student loans.

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