New York, Illinois lead coalition supporting federal protections for higher education students

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced Feb. 22 that he joined with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and a coalition of other attorneys general in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Education Secretary and leaders in Congress.

The coalition expressed support for recent federal protections for students in higher education and taxpayers, according to a news release issued by Schneiderman's office. The letter highlighted the ways in which for-profit schools have harmed consumers.

“Over the past 15 years, millions of students have been defrauded by unscrupulous for-profit, post-secondary schools,” the attorneys general wrote in the letter. “With accreditors asleep at the wheel, state attorneys general offices have stepped in to stop some of the worst abuses.”

The attorneys general asked the government to keep in place a number of protections, including the Gainful Employment Rule and the Borrower Defense to Repayment Rule. They also asked for vigorous oversight of school accreditors that accredit these schools.

Attorneys general joining New York in the letter are those from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia, and the executive director of the Office of Consumer Protection of Hawaii.