Adams, Butterfield, Price Challenge DeVos to Maintain Protections for Students

WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. (NC-12), a member of the Education and Workforce Committee, led a letter signed by North Carolina Congressmen G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) and David Price (NC-04) to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urging the Department of Education to allow students enrolled at Charlotte School of Law (CSL) from December 31st,2016 to its close on August 15, 2017 to qualify for a closed school discharge of their student loans as a group. Following repeated communications and sanctions from the American Bar Association, CSL lost its certification under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) on December, 31st 2016, preventing students from accessing federal loan assistance, which eventually led to its close eight months later. This letter was sent days before the Associated Press reported that the Department of Education is considering abandoning an Obama-era policy of fully forgiving federal loans for students defrauded by for-profit colleges.

“After years of poor bar passage rates and high unemployment statistics, students were left with the bill when Charlotte School of Law closed its doors earlier this year,” said Congresswoman Adams. “Students have been saddled with an average of $200,000 in loan debt, and many have no degree to show for it, yet the Department of Education is considering giving only partial relief for defrauded students. I urge Secretary DeVos to show compassion for the students impacted and to expedite all available procedures to forgive their federal loans.”

“Students shouldn’t be burdened with loans incurred after Charlotte Law School lost its certification in December 2016,” said Congressman Butterfield.  “The U.S. Department of Education can’t ignore the exceptional circumstances of the impacted students, and I urge it to support steps that will protect the borrowers from being further victimized due to the law school’s misconduct.”

“I was pleased to join Representative Adams in sending a letter to Secretary DeVos regarding the financial standing of Charlotte School of Law’s former students,” said Congressman Price. “We hope that she uses her existing authority to help relieve the debt burden these students currently face while working with Congress to hold all higher education institutions to high standards.” 

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