Attorney General Andy Beshear today joined with other state attorneys general to send a letter to federal officials expressing continued support of recent federal protections for students in higher education and taxpayers.
Beshear sent the letter to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Elisabeth DeVos and congressional leadership detailing how rolling back federal education laws would allow some of the “worst actors in the for-profit school industry” to harm Kentuckians.
“College has never been more unaffordable, and students are being crushed with debt,” Beshear said. “My office is focused on ensuring Kentucky students are treated fairly but if these protections are rolled back by the federal government, those days are over.”
According to the letter, millions of students have been defrauded by unscrupulous for-profit, postsecondary schools over the past 15 years.
The list of investigations and enforcement actions against for-profit colleges by state AGs include: American Career Institute; Ashford University/Bridgepoint Education Inc.; Corinthian Colleges Inc.; Career Education Corporation; Education Management Corporation; Daymar College; DeVry University; ITT Tech; National College of Kentucky and Westwood Colleges.
In December, Beshear announced nearly 3,500 former students of Daymar College’s Kentucky campuses and online programs will receive restitution checks totaling $1.2 million. The payments are pursuant to a settlement agreement the Office of the Attorney General entered into with Daymar in 2015 resolving a consumer protection lawsuit.
In August, Beshear announced that the Kentucky Court of Appeals had affirmed a previous order by Franklin Circuit Court requiring National College of Kentucky Inc. and its attorneys to pay the state a combined $157,000 in civil monetary sanctions. Earlier this month, the Kentucky Supreme Court declined to take up National College’s request to overturn the appeals’ court decision.
In March, Beshear joined seven other state attorneys general in asking the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to restore educational and vocational benefits to thousands of veterans victimized by Corinthian Colleges Inc. for predatory practices.
Beshear said he and the other attorneys general need federal officials to keep a number of protections, including the Gainful Employment Rule, which ensures students who attend career-training programs are able to repay their federal student loans once they graduate.
The AGs are pushing to keep vigorous federal oversight of school accreditors who are tasked with providing prospective quality assurance of schools, and the Borrower Defense to Repayment Rule, which will provide a fair and transparent process for students who have been defrauded to apply for federal student loan relief.