Durbin Calls on CFPB to Warn All Students About For-Profit College Industry Bad Actors

Senator says President's Executive Order sends clear message that federal taxpayer will no longer subsidize deceptive marketing and aggressive recruiting

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today commended President Obama’s decision to sign an Executive Order that will help ensure that our veterans and servicemembers have the information they need to make informed decisions about their education and are protected from aggressive and deceptive marketing by the for-profit college industry. Durbin also called on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to issue a warning to students about the bad actors in the for-profit college industry.

“President Obama’s Executive Order sends a clear message to the for-profit college industry – it's time for the most heavily subsidized business in America to stop deceiving our veterans and students,” said Durbin. “Federal taxpayers will no longer subsidize the deceptive marketing and aggressive recruiting practices of the industry’s bad actors. I am calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to issue a warning to consumers about the for-profit schools that are sinking our college students into an impossible student debt hole for diplomas which too often turn out to be worthless.”

“It’s also time for the Department of Education to systematically remove the worst offending for-profit schools from eligibility for federal aid. Students are misled into believing that if a school receives federal aid, it has the approval of the Department of Education. Unfortunately, many of these for-profit schools are student debt traps with rotten records of preparing their students for today's job market.”

At a January forum held by Durbin in Chicago to examine the aggressive recruiting and marketing tactics practiced by some members of the for-profit college industry, Holly Petraeus, the Assistant Director for Service Members Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, spoke about the need to address inappropriate targeting of military affiliated students.

Durbin introduced legislation that would further limit federal government subsidies to for-profit colleges and eliminate the incentive for these extremely profitable schools to aggressively target veterans and service members. His Protecting Our Students and Taxpayers (POST) Act would re-instate the original ratio of 85/15 (it was loosened to 90/10 in 1998) and change the definition of what counts as federal revenue so that it encompasses all federal funds including: GI Bill Benefits and Department of Defense Tuition Assistance. The bill is cosponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP), U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA).