The Department of Education wants your opinion!
Under the “borrower defense” rule, the federal government will give you loan relief if you were misled or lied to by your college. The “gainful employment” rule is supposed to ensure that colleges do not leave graduates with very low earnings and high debt. If career programs do not serve students well, they must improve or lose student aid eligibility.
The Department is rewriting these rules to make it much harder to get loan relief and is weakening critical protections for students, and your voice matters!
Below are some tips on how to write the most effective public comment possible if you choose to write your own.
Here are some tips on how to write the most effective public comment possible.
- Be specific: Why did you go to school? What sacrifices did you make? How large is your student loan? Did the college provide you a good education? Were you prepared by your school for a job in the field you studied? Were the promises that recruiters made to you true? Have you had an easy time finding a job in your field of study? Do employers respect the credential you received at the school?
- Talk about how your experience affected you: Comments are stronger if they describe in detail the harm that you experienced. Beyond how much debt you owe, or how your job prospects don’t match what you were promised, think about things like lost income, career opportunities passed up, making family sacrifices, and more.
Talk about the harmful changes the Education Department (ED) is proposing
- Do you have written evidence? The changes that ED is proposing to the Borrower Defense rule would make it extremely difficult for borrowers to have their claims approved. Do you have documents that prove that the school intended to harm you? Do you think it is right for ED to require such proof of students who have been harmed? Do you think you should have to prove that you were financially harmed?
- Did you know about borrower defense right away? When you found out that your school mistreated you did you know that you could apply for borrower defense? The new rule would limit the amount of time you have to apply for relief. Some borrowers would lose eligibility without ever even knowing they could apply for borrower defense.
- Should all wronged students get relief? If ED knows that a school mistreated a group of students, do you think that all of those students should get relief? The new rule would require every borrower to apply on their own to be eligible for relief, even borrowers that ED knows have been wronged.
- Should wronged students get full loan relief? Do you think it is fair to use the amount of money that you earn, or the amount of money that your classmates earn to justify forgiving only a part of your loans, or not forgiving your loans at all, even when you have clearly been harmed?