On February 8th, 2016, the Department of Education announced the creation of a “Student Enforcement Unit” that can aggressively bring action against schools that are in violation of certain rules in higher education.
“When Americans invest their time, money and effort to gain new skills, they have a right to expect they’ll actually get an education that leads to a better life for them and their families,” said Acting Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “When that doesn’t happen we all pay the price. So let me be clear: schools looking to cheat students and taxpayers will be held accountable.”
The Obama White House has asked for a budget of $13.6 million to fully fund the oversight activities of the new division and will be headed by Robert Kaye, one of the nation’s top enforcement attorneys. The new unit will collaborate with, and incorporate evidence gathered in investigations by, partner state and federal agencies, in building cases against colleges around the country.
The Enforcement Unit will be broken up into four divisions. The “Investigations Group” will focus on identifying misconduct, the “Borrower Defense Group will look to dish out legal advice concerning claims from student loan borrowers. The final two, “The Administrative Actions and Appeals Service Group” will impose rule breaking measures such as Emergency, Termination, Limitation, Suspension or Fine actions and the “Clery Group” will ensure schools disclose required campus crime statistics to the public.
The Unit has already found support from Congressional leaders. “Students and taxpayers need aggressive enforcement of the law to spare students from fraud and taxpayers from further losses like those caused by the Corinthian Colleges collapse,” Senator Dick Durbin said in a statement. “By combining the forces of our federal and state governments, the bad actors in higher education will meet their match.”