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April 24, 2019

Miller urges U.S. House to protect student veterans from exploitation by for-profit schools 

'The Department of Education has actively dismantled federal regulation of for-profit colleges'

DES MOINES — Attorney General Tom Miller, along with 19 other state attorneys general, today submitted a statement for consideration during a joint field hearing of the U.S. House Education and Labor and Veterans Affairs Committees scheduled for this afternoon at 12:30 p.m. CST in El Cajon, California.   

The coalition’s statement emphasizes concerns of the attorneys general that student veterans are disproportionately harmed by for-profit colleges and universities that violate state laws put in place to protect students and when these institutions convert to “non-profit” entities but retain business models that essentially keep profit-making arrangements in place.   

The attorneys general argue that student veterans are at greater risk of being harmed due to loopholes in federal laws that entice for-profit schools to heavily market to veterans — often using high-pressure and deceptive sales tactics.  As a result, veterans are disproportionately harmed when these schools violate consumer protection laws, offer low-quality or inadequate certificate and degree programs, or close abruptly leaving students burdened with heavy debt and low prospects for gainful employment. 

"The Department of Education has actively dismantled federal regulation of for-profit colleges," Miller said.

In their statement, the attorneys general also outline the multiple efforts they have undertaken to protect students and loan borrowers, including investigations and enforcement actions brought against several for-profit schools and opposing attempts by the U.S. Department of Education to dismantle federal regulations that guard against abuses by for-profit schools.  The department has also refused to help defrauded students obtain federal loan forgiveness, failed to institute protections for students of for-profit schools that abruptly close, and has limited sharing student loan information with attorneys general.  The long-standing practice of information sharing has been vital to state efforts to protect consumers from illegal, unfair, abusive, or deceptive practices in the higher education industry. 

The statement is also signed by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. 

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