Today, Reps. Donna Shalala (FL-27), Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), and Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) (pictured) introduced the Protecting Student Aid Act of 2019 (PSA Act), as a response to fraud and federal student aid programs.
“However, since assuming office, Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration have dramatically cut the resources available at the Student Aid Enforcement Unit," said Shalala
Under the Obama administration, the Department of Education created a Student Aid Enforcement Unit. This special unit was created, and funded, to respond aggressively to allegations of illegal actions by higher education institutions.
“For too long, Secretary DeVos and the Department of Education have allowed the fraud and deception of the for-profit college industry to run rampant,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “This industry has preyed on vulnerable communities leaving students with crushing levels of student debt and low-quality degrees. The PSA Act will strengthen the Federal Student Aid unit to ensure that students are protected, and institutions found cheating students and taxpayers are held accountable.”
“The Department of Education should be vigorously defending students from predatory and deceptive behavior by higher education institutions, but Betsy DeVos has completely failed to hold institutions that defraud and mislead Americans accountable. The PSA Act will recommit the Department of Education to protecting students and ensuring the credibility of our higher education system,” said Rep. Tlaib.
The PSA Act of 2019 aims to allocate more resources to the Student Aid Enforcement Unit. It will allow the department to properly identify potential misconduct at Institutions of Higher Education, provide expert legal analysis, support, and advice on borrower defense claims. Furthermore, the PSA Act presented by Shalala and "Squad" members, will prioritize state and federal partnerships in holding bad actors accountable.