The for-profit college industry will further challenge an Obama-era rule granting student debt relief despite the mandate going into effect this week. Trump’s Department of Education, criticized for siding with for-profit colleges, had vehemently tried to block the rule.
A federal judge pushed for the Borrower Defense to Repayment mandate, which took effect Tuesday after a long-winded fight by Trump’s administration, CNN reported. Attorney generals in 18 states and the District of Columbia had sued Education Department Secretary Betsy DeVos last year over delaying the rule’s implementation. Now, with the judge’s ruling, hundreds of thousands of students will get quicker pardons for debt penalties.
Many of the affected students are African-Americans, who are more likely to feel the burden of student debt. Seventy-five percent of Black students who enrolled at for-profit colleges for the 2003-2004 school year and left schools defaulted on loans, according to federal data published last October.
Under the debt relief rule, some students, including those of color, will receive automatic federal loan forgiveness if they weren’t allowed to complete their education because their schools shut down while they were enrolled. More than 1,000 schools had closed between 2013 and 2015, according to estimated data by The Century Foundation, a left-leaning think tank.
Overall, the government will now have to process student debt claims through a faster, easier method.
The rule is a win for the Obama era and students of color. However, the for-profit college industry wants to avoid losing their fight indefinitely. The industry’s challenge against the Borrower Defense to Repayment will proceed, with the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools having brought a lawsuit challenging protections for student borrowers. Debt relief advocates will also continue their fight to stop for-profit colleges from defrauding students and ignoring systems of checks and balances.