Third Way Statement on the Biden-Harris Administration’s Historic Borrower Defense Student Loan Discharge
WASHINGTON — Third Way issued the following statement from Lanae Erickson, Senior Vice President for Social Policy, Education & Politics, on the Department of Education’s announcement of the largest-ever borrower defense student loan discharge:
“We applaud the Biden-Harris Administration’s action today to make 560,000 former students of the predatory Corinthian Colleges whole by fully forgiving $5.8 billion of their student loan debt through borrower defense to repayment. Multiple investigations and lawsuits showed that Corinthian cheated and scammed students at every turn prior to shuttering its doors in 2015—leaving many with debt and no degree to show for it. Today’s announcement acknowledges the enduring harm caused and provides long-overdue relief to these borrowers.
“The borrower defense rule exists for exactly this purpose: to ensure that students who are the victims of fraud, misrepresentation, and illegal conduct by unscrupulous colleges receive the discharge of their debt to which they are entitled under federal law. Throughout his time in office, President Biden has prioritized improving and expanding existing student loan forgiveness programs to deliver targeted relief, and this additional action brings the Administration’s total debt cancellation to $25 billion for 1.3 million borrowers.
“While we celebrate today’s announcement, far more must be done to prevent predatory behavior by colleges in the first place. No student should be left worse off after attending an accredited institution of higher education, and all colleges receiving federal financial aid dollars must be held accountable for the outcomes of the students they enroll. We continue to urge the Biden Administration to put students first and advance structural reforms to strengthen institutional accountability and ensure that college pays off for every student borrower.”