Reps. Susie Lee and Rosa DeLauro Introduce Bill to Protect Students from Predatory Higher Education Institutions and Student Loan Practices

June 26, 2019
Press Release


Washington, DC—Today, Representatives Susie Lee (NV-03) and Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) introduced the Preventing Risky Operations from Threatening the Education and Career Trajectories of Students Act of 2019 (PROTECT Students Act). This bill would protect students from predatory higher education institutions that take advantage of students--including veterans--by using fraudulent and misleading practices that leave students saddled with debt and an often unsatisfactory or incomplete education. 


“All students--especially veteran students--deserve access to quality higher education without having to worry about being taken advantage of by predatory institutions looking to make a quick buck at the students’ expense. For-profit colleges are collapsing left and right, from the Dream Center Holdings to Education Corporation of America, and our students are saddled with skyrocketing debt and an education that often leaves them no better off then they were before they started,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Under Secretary DeVos, the Department of Education has rolled back oversight of these institutions, opening our students to even more fraud and misleading practices. The PROTECT Students Act will give students much-needed protections from these predatory practices and ensure that our country’s higher education meets the needs of every student.” 


“For too long, for-profit colleges have taken advantage of our nation’s students. Students attending these institutions often face poor employment prospects and staggering debt after they graduate—and that is if they are lucky enough to attend a school that does not close down in the process,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “Congress must fix this broken system. That is why I am proud to introduce the PROTECT Students Act with Congresswoman Susie Lee to help ensure students have good-paying jobs once they complete their degree, protections from accruing massive debt they will never be able to pay off, and much more. In the absence of action by the Trump Administration, the Department of Education, and Secretary Betsy DeVos, Congress needs to step up and protect students.”


For-Profit colleges have been able to run wild, unchecked, or without retribution in this country for too long. Because of negligent oversight and an insufficient accreditation process, many for-profit institutions are able to open their doors and take millions in taxpayer dollars without the leadership or infrastructure in place to actually serve its students at a fair price. Twelve hundred colleges have shut down in the last five years, and nearly 90% of those institutions have been for-profit colleges. Not only that, but for-profit colleges account for 10% of all enrolled higher education students, but account for nearly half of all student loan defaults. This is a clear sign that these institutions are not operating to the benefit of students. There are so many students who fall victim to predatory schools and there just aren’t the right mechanisms in place to help these students and protect the abuse of taxpayer dollars.


The bill text can be viewed here.


In addition to Representative Lee and DeLauro, in the House the bill is supported by Representatives Steven Horsford (NV-04), Lori Trahan (MA-03), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Gil Cisneros (CA-39), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Steve Cohen (TN-09), and Katie Porter (CA-45). 


And is the House companion bill to legislation introduced by Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) in March.