On June 17, 2020, the Department of Education introduced a new rule excluding some students and borrowers from receiving the emergency relief funds provided by Congress through the CARES Act.
Here’s some background: the CARES Act paused payments for most federal student loan borrowers. But it also included more than $6 billion in emergency grant aid for colleges to award to students. Anything that helps prevent current students and new borrowers from going through what long-term borrowers are experiencing now is a huge step in the right direction.
But then Betsy DeVos stepped in. Her new rule instructs institutions to exclude a number of students when distributing their emergency scholarships to students.
Circumventing what Congress wrote into law, the new DeVos rule blocks institutions from distributing their emergency scholarships to many groups of students—the DeVos interim rule cuts out veterans relying on the GI Bill, some student borrowers who have defaulted on loans, students with low grades, undocumented college students, and more.
Congress NEVER intended for any students to be left out.
Not all students are impacted by this pandemic equally. And many desperately need the help DeVos is blocking. Low-income students, food-insecure students, houseless students, undocumented students, and students of color are disproportionately negatively impacted by the pandemic and its economic ramifications.
DeVos decided to insert her prejudice to stop these very students from getting the help they sorely need.
Tell DeVos her rule is trash and that it’s past time to prioritize students and borrowers.