Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have won a case against U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over her decision to suspend rules meant to protect students from abuse by for-profit colleges.
Bloomberg News reports that a federal court judge ruled that the Education Department’s postponement of the so-called Borrower Defense rule was procedurally improper.
The Borrower Defense regulations changed the rules for forgiving student loans in cases of school misconduct. It required "financially risky institutions" to be prepared to cover government losses in those instances, U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss’s said in his 57-page ruling.
By postponing the effective date of those regulations, the Education Department deprived students "of several concrete benefits that they would have otherwise accrued," Moss said. "The relief they seek in this action—immediate implementation of the Borrower Defense regulations—would restore those benefits."
The regulations were meant to protect students who took out loans to attend college from predatory practices.
The Obama administration established the regulations, set to take effect in 2017, after revelations that some for-profit colleges enticed students with promises of an education and diplomas that would enable them to get jobs in their chosen fields.
In reality, many of those certifications weren’t recognized by prospective employers, and graduates were left with student loans they couldn’t repay.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who led the lawsuit, called Moss's decision “a victory for every family defrauded by a predatory for-profit school,” the Associated Press reports.