From: The Honorable Maxine Waters
Sent By:
alexandra.uriarte@mail.house.gov

Date: 4/11/2017

Deadline: Friday, April 21

Dear Colleague,

As we approach the second year anniversary of the closure of Corinthian Colleges which defrauded thousands of students, please join me in cosponsoring the Students Before Profits Ac that will curb the abuses of the private, post-secondary education industry.

As you may know, current and former students across the country continue to suffer unacceptable loads of debt and unemployment while bad actors continue to receive billions of dollars in federal aid. The time has come to hold proprietary institutions and
their executives accountable for delivering cheap education with high price tags to our nation’s most vulnerable students.

The Students Before Profits Act will ensure quality, affordable education and increased oversight in the proprietary education industry, by:

  • Authorizing enhanced civil penalties on institutions and their executive officers if it is determined that the institution misrepresented its cost, admission requirements, completion rates, employment prospects or default rates, and uses
    those penalties to fund a Student Relief Fund to help defrauded students;
  • Improving oversight of default rate manipulation by requiring the Secretary of Education to use corrected data to recalculate student loan cohort default rates for institutions of higher education that have engaged in default manipulation
    and make determinations on whether an institution should be disqualified from participating in financial aid programs;
  • Making college executives share the risk, giving the Department of Education broader discretion to require owners and executives of for-profit colleges to assume personal liability for financial losses associated with Title IV funds and
    including executives and owners among those against whom the Department can pursue a claim after discharging borrowers’ debts;
  • Preventing “repeat offenders” by prohibiting board members and executive officers of an institution against which the Department has brought an enforcement action from serving in leadership positions at another college.

The for-profit industry enrolls 12% of post-secondary students but is responsible for nearly 50% of all student loan defaults. Additionally, for-profit colleges tend to target vulnerable populations—students who are of color, veterans or low income—which
makes these groups disproportionately represented in current default rates.

We cannot stand by as students continue to be left hanging by fraudulent institutions with a history of predatory behavior.

I look forward to working with you in brining justice to our students, accountability to for-profit executives and much needed oversight to the for-profit education system.

If you wish to cosponsor, or if you have any questions please reach out to Alexandra.uriarte@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,
Maxine Waters
Member of Congress