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Borrower Defense to Repayment

This often is referred to simply as the Borrower Defense program.

It is a government program that forgives federal student loans in cases where a school has defrauded students, such as by misrepresenting...

o Costs to the student
o The school's accreditations
o Transfer opportunities
o Job prospects associated with a degree program

The program is managed by the Department of Education. Only loans that were directly provided by the federal government are covered.

It was created in 1994. It simply stated any act or omission by the school that could be acted on under the school's state law could be cited by the borrower as a cause to dismiss the loan.

Obama regulation

In 2016, the department under President Barack Obama adopted new rules. The rules broadened the definition of misrepresentation to include statements or omissions that would be likely to mislead borrowers.

The rules explicitly give borrowers the right to sue the school in court and to file class action lawsuits in Borrower Defense claims. They prohibit the school from requiring the borrower to resolve disputes via arbitration.

They provide ways for the government to recover that money from the school, if the school was found liable. These forgiven loans were funded with public money, so without this it would be taxpayer money paying for the school's misconduct.

Also, they require schools deemed to be financially at-risk to provide financial protection to cover the cost of a successful Borrower Defense claim.

Schools considered to be at-risk also are required to disclose that information to prospective students.

Trump regulation

The Obama rules were to take effect in July 2017. However, the Trump administration postponed them until 2019. In the meanwhile, the administration has proposed a different Borrower Defense policy to take effect in 2019.

The new policy would make it more difficult for borrowers to file successful claims - changing the definition of misrepresentation to statements or omissions that are intentionally false and directly related directly related to the making of the loan.

It would once again allow schools to require arbitration - preventing borrowers from suing in court or using class actions.

The administration also is considering allowing Borrower Defense claims only if the borrower first defaults on the loan, rather than allowing borrowers to file claims while still making payments.

Referenced by...
DeVos sued for not implementing student loan protections (2018-Nov-14)
Judge supports relief for defrauded federal student loan borrowers (2018-Oct-01)

Charter School

A school formed by members of a community that is funded with public money from a school district, but which operates independently of public schools within the district.

The money that goes to a charter school is money that otherwise would go toward the public school system.

Common Core


Community College

A public college that typically awards degrees for two years of study (Associates Degree). Community colleges also can teach vocations - often those in demand where the school is located.

Loan Servicer

A company that handles the administrative details of a loan, such as payment terms, billing, etc.

Pell Grant

A federal subsidy for low-income students to attend college.

Pell Grants formerly were called Basic Educational Opportunity Grants (BEOG).

School Choice

Generic term for programs that would allow public money to pay for a child's education at a school other that a public one (which they can attend for free).

One way to provide this money could be through school vouchers.

These programs effectively siphon money from the public school system into private companies.

School Voucher

Public Money that parents can use to offset the cost of sending their children to a private school, rather than a public one (which they can attend for free).

The money for vouchers typically comes from funds that otherwise would have gone to public schools.

Student Loan

A loan that helps students pay the expenses of a college education. Students typically are not required to start repaying the loan until they are finished with their education.

A federal student loan is one that is funded by the government, rather than a private lender such as a bank.

Referenced by...
DeVos sued for not implementing student loan protections (2018-Nov-14)
Judge supports relief for defrauded federal student loan borrowers (2018-Oct-01)

Teacher Corps


Title IX

Part of the 1972 amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1965, it prohibits gender discrimination in publicly funded higher education.

It begins...

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance..."

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