Scott Statement: Changes to DeVos’ Flawed Partial Relief Formula Focused on Optics, Not Students

December 17, 2019
Press Release
Chairman Scott: “Not one defrauded borrower will receive more relief under the revised plan.”

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Department of Education revised its plan to provide only partial relief to student borrowers defrauded by predatory institutions.

“At Thursday's hearing, Secretary DeVos refused to acknowledge serious flaws in her plan to provide only partial relief to some defrauded borrowers while outright denying relief for others. A day later, the Department quietly took the plan off of its website and issued a revised version with no public notice. 

“Unfortunately, rather than fixing the partial relief formula so it is fairer to students, the revised plan only improves the optics of denying defrauded borrowers the relief they deserve. Not one defrauded borrower will receive more relief under the revised plan. In fact, the Department already began notifying borrowers of their relief amount under the old formula.

“The Department’s decision to rapidly revise its formula, while preserving a pre-determined outcome, raises several questions about the validity of its formula and the integrity of the process that produced it. We will be asking Secretary DeVos these questions and expect to get timely and responsive answers.

“Under both versions of the Department’s partial relief formula, defrauded student borrowers will be unfairly denied relief. Secretary DeVos’ plan is so flawed that borrowers will be denied relief simply because they attend a program in a high-cost state, or because graduates of similarly worthless programs are also stuck in low-wage jobs. Ultimately, the Department’s new plan makes clear that even when borrowers document widespread and pervasive fraud at their institution, the Department will not make them whole.”

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