Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten Slams DeVos Borrower Defense Rule

New rule would hurt students already defrauded by for-profit colleges, a callous one-two punch

For Release:


Andrew Crook
o: 202-393-8637 | c: 607-280-6603

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued a new borrower defense rule on the Friday before Labor Day:

“There’s a reason that releasing bad news on the eve of a long weekend is called ‘taking out the trash,’ because that’s exactly what this new rule is—trash. Betsy DeVos has again shown just how determined she is to hurt students while helping her friends who run failing for-profit colleges.                                              

“The rule takes a scythe to defrauded borrowers, limiting their loan forgiveness by millions of dollars and forcing arbitration clauses that erase their rights. For many affected students, disproportionately veterans, first-generation college-goers and people of color, it’s a double whammy—not only are their finances and careers wrecked by worthless degrees, any chance at justice is then callously denied to them by DeVos.

“The rule eliminates the possibility for group claims, so each individual borrower will have to come forward with evidence, a tactic meant to stop people fighting back as one. And it imposes a new three-year time limit on claims. It’s why we argued that the entire rule should be scrapped and replaced with something—anything—that strengthens rather than guts protections.

“On the Friday of Labor Day weekend, DeVos is gleefully forcing hundreds of thousands of students defrauded by for-profit colleges to suffer yet another indignity. Shame on her.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.