Editor: I recently read in the that President Trump’s Department of Education is abandoning the crackdown on fraudulent practices at for-profit colleges started by the Obama Administration.
Many unscrupulous for-profit “educational” institutions take advantage of veterans and other non-traditional college students by steering these students to loan programs that leave them deep in debt when (or if) they complete the for-profit college’s program. Worse, these programs often fail to lead to recognized professional certification for graduates or even award credits that can be transferred to a public or nonprofit college. I guess we shall see if the Trump administration succeeds in lowering the standards governing for-profit colleges. Meanwhile, at the state level, the Virginia General Assembly passed a bill this year to require significant disclosures to students by out-of-state colleges operating in the state. The bill, sponsored by Del. Kathleen Murphy, requires that these colleges provide enrollment agreements that clearly define the transferability of their credits, their accreditation status, their eligibility for student loans, and other vital information.
These agreements will help many students make better decisions about how to pursue and finance their plans for higher education. This is especially important for working class students and our military veterans.
I want to commend Del. Murphy for sponsoring HB 2040, the Education Transparency Law, that Gov. McAuliffe recently signed into law in Sterling. If the federal government is abandoning its commitment to protect Virginians from post-secondary education fraud, it is up to our state legislators to fill the gap.
Kathy Stewart Shupe, Sterling