December 1, 2020

Ted Kaufman
1401 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20230

Cathy Russell
1401 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20230

Dear Mr. Kaufman and Ms. Russell,

As organizations working on behalf of students, veterans, faculty and staff, civil rights advocates, researchers, and others concerned about unaffordable student debts and predatory practices, we look forward to the Biden Administration putting together a strong higher education leadership team that will work across government to protect students and taxpayers. We strongly encourage you to seek out individuals who have expertise in consumer protection and have demonstrated records of working to support students and student-focused policies as well as people of color and women.  We also support the Biden Administration’s commitment to diversity, and we offer our support in identifying qualified and interested individuals to serve.

In the past, for-profit interests have sometimes had undue influence over higher education policy, delaying and weakening efforts to hold colleges accountable for engaging in deceptive, abusive, and unlawful practices. During the Trump Administration, multiple industry insiders were placed into high-level positions at the Department of Education where they worked to undermine protections for students and taxpayers. Individuals who are, or have been, affiliated with colleges or other entities that engage in predatory practices should have no place at the Department of Education, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or elsewhere in the Biden administration. This includes individuals who have owned an interest in, represented, lobbied for, advised, or otherwise been compensated by any college or entity that has had significant consumer protection, fraud-related, or other major Title IV compliance issues with a state or federal agency or accreditor.

We look forward to working with you on strong higher education policies that strengthen consumer protection and hold predatory colleges accountable.


Americans for Financial Reform
Association of Young Americans
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Consumer Action
Consumer Federation of California
David Halperin, Attorney
Empire Justice Center
Generation Progress
Government Accountability Project
Higher Education Loan Coalition (HELC)
Housing and Economic Rights Advocates
Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition
National Association for College Admission Counseling
National Association of Consumer Advocates
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA)
National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients)
National Consumers League
New America, Higher Education Program
Public Citizen
Public Counsel
Public Good Law Center
Public Law Center
Student Borrower Protection Center
Student Debt Crisis
The Century Foundation
The Education Trust
The Institute for College Access and Success
The Project on Predatory Student Lending
U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG)
Veterans Education Success
Veterans for Common Sense
Young Invincibles
Western New York Law Center