And this just gets better and better or worse and worse depending on your penchant for finding humor in things that are outlandish and egregious.
As you’re probably aware, Donald Trump’s “Trump University” was forced to cough up $25 million earlier this year in order to settle multiple lawsuits accusing the not-so-venerable institution of effectively tricking people into enrolling with a combination of spurious claims and aggressive sales tactics.
Like a lot of things related to Trump, the details of that long-running saga are so damning as to be laughable and were the subject of a truly hilarious John Oliver expose which you can (and definitely should) watch in full. You can view that segment below but I’m going to go ahead and warn all the Trump fans out there: if you are predisposed to thinking that the President can do no wrong, you are in for a “bigly” reality check if you choose to click the “play” button:
Ok, so Trump settled for $25 million (the settlement affected some 6,000 students), and that settlement was approved by a federal judge in March. Hilariously, the only holdout was a Florida woman who wanted to opt-out and sue Trump personally.
Given that, you might imagine that Trump isn’t a fan of debt forgiveness for students who have been defrauded by for-profit universities because after all, he ran one himself.
Therefore it comes as no surprise that education secretary, and woman who thinks Grizzly bears are the biggest threat facing America’s school system, Betsy DeVos, is set to actually roll back an Obama-era program that wiped away student debt for people who were the victims of for-profit college fraud. Here’s AP:
The Education Department is considering only partially forgiving federal loans for students defrauded by for-profit-colleges, The Associated Press has learned, abandoning the Obama administration’s policy of fully erasing that debt.
Under President Barack Obama, tens of thousands of students deceived by now-defunct for-profit schools had over $550 million in such loans canceled completely.
But President Donald Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is working on a plan that could grant such students just partial relief, according to department officials who were not authorized to publicly comment on the issue and spoke on condition of anonymity. The department may look at the average earnings of students in similar programs and schools to determine how much debt to wipe away.
If DeVos goes ahead, the change could leave many students scrambling after expecting full loan forgiveness, based on the previous administration’s track record. It was not immediately clear how many students might be affected.
A department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.
Critics say the Trump administration, which has ties to the for-profit sector, is looking out for industry interests.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is fucking unbelievable. Here’s a President who just this year paid out $25 million in connection with multiple lawsuits alleging that he defrauded students via a for-profit college scam with his name literally stamped on it, now moving to do away with a program that allowed for the forgiveness of debt incurred by students who were defrauded by for-profit colleges.
We’d say it would be impossible to imagine worse optics, but then again, this is a President who took the following picture with the two Sergeys just hours after firing an FBI Director who was investigating the administration’s ties to those very same two Sergeys…