Trump’s administration is steady on its mission to do away with pretty much every Obama-era directive that protected people of color. Case in point: The Education Department put the brakes on a probe into the rampant abuses at for-profit colleges, employees have said.
With Secretary Betsy DeVos in the driver’s seat and Trump paying for the gas, it’s easy to see why the investigation that Obama pushed for and poured resources into to protect students from the for-profit college industry was basically stopped in its tracks. Complaints of widespread fraud and predatory actions, including misrepresenting enrollment benefits, job placement rates and program offerings, have been made against these schools that can leave students with major debt and no degree. DeVos has employed many people who previously worked at these colleges, including the DeVry Education Group now known as the Adtalem Global Education, The New York Times reported this week.
Black students, who are easily discriminated against when it comes to education, have proven the most vulnerable when it comes to for-profit colleges.
For one, African-American students and those from low-income households are targeted by for-profit ads, which promise fast tracks to new careers and steady income. However, many of the ads have been misleading: DeVry agreed to pay $100 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit in 2016 alleging that it misled prospective students with ads about employment and salaries after graduation, USA Today reported.
Secondly, more students of color are disproportionately enrolled at many of these schools, left with weak job prospects and pushed to drop out, according to the Center for Responsible Lending research published in January.
Third, these institutions generate more per-student debt than other colleges. On average, going to a two-year for-profit institution costs a student four times as much as attending a community college, according to the Department of Ed statistics cited by the Chicago Tribune.
DeVos’ investigation shutdown appears to be coming from a sunken place, as the move is being regarded as one that seeks to protect colleges from students. It’s time to snatch the wig on DeVos’ and the department’s misguided interests.
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