Trump quietly vetoes measure that would have made it easier for defrauded students to obtain debt relief

In 2015, following a series of legal challenges, Corinthian Colleges Inc. shut down its remaining 28 for-profit career schools, ending classes for about 16,000 students, in the biggest collapse in U.S. higher education. Mindy Schauer/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images
  • President Trump on Friday vetoed a measure that would have made it easier for students defrauded by for-profit colleges to obtain the cancelation of their federal student loans.
  • By vetoing the bill, Trump sided with his Education secretary, Betsy DeVos.
  • “With this veto, this administration chose profiteers over veterans and students,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a statement.
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Students defrauded by for-profit colleges will have a much harder time obtaining debt relief thanks to a veto issued by US President Donald Trump on Friday.

Last year, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued new rules designed to limit the ability of students – lured into debt by false claims from private universities about high-paying careers that would come with a degree – to have their federal student loans cancelled. In particular, DeVos imposed a three-year time limit on claims for relief and required each appeal to be considered individually, “even if there is evidence of widespread misconduct at an institution,” the trade publication Inside Higher Ed reported.

Democrats, along with 10 Senate Republicans, sought to reverse DeVos’ regulation. But Trump, in a statement explaining his veto, claimed the new rule – which will save the federal government billions – “puts the needs of students first.” Efforts to rescind it would “undermine their ability to make choices about their education in order to best meet their needs.”

But advocates for students, including military veterans enticed by for-profit schools’ ostensibly practical career training, disagreed.

“We are disappointed in today’s veto,” Paul Harris, media director for The American Legion, a veterans group, told Business Insider.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said Trump, who was forced to pay $US25 million to students defrauded by Trump University, had made clear who’s side he was on.

“Students across this country – including thousands who admirably served in the military – were handed a raw deal when these bogus, for-profit colleges preyed on their desire to earn a degree, then left them drowning in debt with very little to show for it,” Weingarten said. “With this veto, this administration chose profiteers over veterans and students.”

The Institute for College Access & Success also rejected the president’s argument that DeVos’ rule will decrease costs and improve choices for students.

“The unfortunate reality is that some colleges defraud and cheat their students, sticking them with debts they have no way to repay,” President James Kvaal said in a statement. “As a direct result of today’s action, hundreds of thousands of students cheated by colleges will have no way to get a fresh start.”

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