On Wednesday the comment period closed on the Department of Education’s proposal to have a 'negotiated rulemaking' to determine how to implement Defense Against Repayment. Nearly 200 comments were submitted, nearly all of which were from student debtors or supporters of student debtors. Furthermore, the Department held two hearings--one in Washington DC and one in San Francisco. At both hearings, everyone spoke in support of broad debt relief for Corinthian and other for-profit students.
Students are finally making their voices heard. We hope the DOE finally hears them.
Below are some sample comments and videos of students and advocates testifying. You can read all the comments here. Or see our comment here.
There were never any job interviews set up for me. There was never any advocating on my behalf for a fare starting salary like they stated. Now it's 6 years later, I have a family, I stay home with my son, because if I got a job I'd only pay for daycare. I cannot afford and have never been able to afford my student loan payments. I live in a veritable shit hole of an apartment and can't even afford to move. When my husband and I tried desperately to take a small personal loan out for a new apartment we were denied due our credit. Our debt exceeded our income. We would not be able to successfully pay it and our student loans off. Even now with our son we have to choose to either eat or pay our loans. We chose food so our kid wouldn't ever have to starve. Now we deal with possible wage garnishment, default in our loans and a black hole of debt that will never end.
Justin from MN:
I applied for attending the art institutes of Minnesota at the end of my junior year of high school. I spoke with a recruiter within days of calling them. They said that 90% of graduates get jobs and that paying back loans wasn't a struggle for them. I asked if they needed a portfolio of work? They said they didn't need to see one. I also remember asking what my GPA needed to be to get in. They told me a GPA of 2.0. They said the average salary for an animation graduates were around $50,000 to $75,000 a year. They also asked me about my family's past with education. Neither of my parents went to college. I remember them asking if they think they'd be proud if I was the first to graduate college. They asked and went through a financial statement with me and my father, explaining that after college it was easy to pay back loans, and the loan vendors were very nice and accommodating. They asked what I wanted to do when I graduated, I said I wanted to work for Disney /Pixar. They told me that there were a ton of graduates working for them.
I had none of my loans explained to me and was not allowed to keep my paperwork. I defaulted completely, and barely scraped out of that trying to keep my wages from being garnished. I had no idea who my loans were through, what the interest rates, and every question I asked was not answered, it was beat around the bush. I am still to this day unable to get any documents from ITT Tech of my transcripts or anything dealing with my financial documents. I attended 2 semesters. I received an A in one class and a B in another. The class I received an A in, was a basic computer class. The teacher left us to our own devices a lot of the time. At one point, the teacher was showing us parts of a computer. She held up Ram and called it a motherboard. They are clearly different and when I pointed this out in a calm manner I was recorrected and kicked out of the class.