May 25, 2022

Betsy DeVos and Trump just had their shady plot to rip off college students exposed

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The Trump administration has been coldly efficient in its determined efforts to roll back all the consumer protection rules that President Obama’s team instituted to shield the American people from the greedy abuses and excesses of corporate America’s insatiable greed.

Their latest display of plutocratic enabling is the dissolution of President Obama’s investigative team that focused on rooting out abuses and fraud in for-profit colleges. A team that once had over a dozen lawyers and investigators is now reduced to just three people, as the rest have been reassigned or pushed aside. 

The three who remain have been ordered to focus solely on student loan forgiveness applications reports the New York Times.

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The for-profit college industry expanded with ravenous growth after George W. Bush’s reckless deregulation, and now accounts for only 11% of students but 44% of student debt defaults, because graduates cannot find good jobs with the poor education and fake diplomas they’ve received- the Department of Education reported in 2015 that an astonishing 72% of for-profit college graduates make less than high school dropouts do.

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It’s obvious who’s behind this move. President Trump himself once ran a fraudulent for-profit college, Trump University, where student learned the hard way about how Donald evidently made his fortune- by misrepresentation, extortion, and illegal business practices. UTrump launched in 2005 as an online course; it did not confer degrees nor had any certifications and was forced to change its name in 2010 to The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative because the State of New York found that it was misleading and almost illegal for the scam to call itself a college.

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The president was recently forced to pay out $25 million to the victims of the Trump University fraud – but it appears that he and his Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, would rather side with their donors than with the students of America.

Indeed, the Trump Department of Education is packed with former for-profit college lobbyists and bigwigs. Julian Schmoke, a former associate dean for the notoriously fraudulent DeVry’s engineering and information sciences college, is currently in charge of the fraud enforcement unit.

DeVry University was forced to pay $100 million in settlement money by the Federal Trade Commission for running false ads telling prospective customers that 90% of their graduates went on to find jobs in their field within six months. They also falsely boasted that their graduates were paid 15% more than others in their field.

In about as literal an interpretation of hiring a fox to guard the henhouse as you can possibly get, the Trump administration’s latest move makes it clear that it’s open season on the American consumer – and Wall Street is going to make a killing.

Colin Taylor

Managing Editor

Colin Taylor is the managing editor of the Washington Press. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice, equality, and universal health care in America.

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