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July 06, 2017

Aguilar Responds to California Lawsuit Against Education Secretary DeVos

Rep. Pete Aguilar issued the following response to reports that California, along with 17 other states and the District of Columbia, filed a lawsuit against United States Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over her delay of Obama-era regulations to provide financial relief for students affected by the closures of for-profit colleges like ITT Tech and Everest. The regulations were set to go into effect on July 1, 2017.

“I’m glad to see state leaders take action on behalf of students across the country who are struggling with crippling student debt, including those in the Inland Empire,” said Rep. Aguilar. He continued, “I called on Secretary DeVos to help San Bernardino County students who were taken advantage of and left without a clear path toward getting their degrees, but it’s only been met with silence from this administration. We must do more to improve college affordability in this country and I remain committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to see that through.”

Rep. Aguilar has held four college affordability workshops since taking office in 2015, including two sessions that were held for students affected by the closures of Everest College and ITT Tech. In April of this year, Rep. Aguilar sent a letter to Secretary DeVos with members of the Inland Empire congressional delegation regarding the closure of Westech College, urging Secretary DeVos to expedite procedures for borrowers to be discharged of federal student loan debt. Neither Secretary DeVos, nor anyone from the Department of Education, responded to the letter.

Rep. Aguilar has been a vocal proponent of reform to hold for-profit colleges accountable. He cosponsored the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act and the Protections and Regulations for Our Students (PRO) Act. Additionally, Rep. Aguilar introduced his own college affordability legislation, the Grace Period Alleviation (GPA) Act, which would extend students’ loan repayment grace periods, eliminate interest payments during grace periods for students with subsidized loans, and allow students to refinance their loans under certain circumstances.

As a Pell Grant recipient, Rep. Aguilar understands the struggle that many Inland Empire students and families experience with college affordability. To learn more about Rep. Aguilar’s commitment to making higher education more affordable, visit his website here.