May 1, 2014

The April 28 editorial “Blocking the college door” criticized regulations recently proposed by the Obama administration, suggesting that they unfairly single out for-profit colleges and will hurt minority and low-income students who attend these schools.

This argument misses the mark: The regulations appropriately target the riskiest form of higher education debt and protect students from predatory lending. As has been well-documented, many for-profit colleges have engaged in high-pressure and deceptive tactics to entice students to take out loans to attend expensive courses that fail to prepare them for employment. Since students of color disproportionately enroll in for-profit colleges, they have been disproportionately harmed.

The proposed regulations appropriately focus on the source of unsafe, predatory lending — exactly as regulations should have focused on risky subprime mortgage lending a decade ago. That a certain financial sector claims to serve the needs of low-income and minority borrowers does not give it license to engage in predatory tactics. 

Maura Dundon, Washington

The writer is senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending.

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