“Every one of the issues on the table is critically important and quite consequential for specific segments of the borrower population,” said Barmak Nassirian, vice president for higher education policy at Veterans Education Success, a bipartisan advocacy group that focuses on higher education for veterans, service members, and military families.
“Education is not a product you can walk away with,” he said. “It is an experience over time. To have a school close can be extremely detrimental to students. We’re not talking about orderly closures that give students prior notice. We’re talking about school doors basically padlocked overnight. The government has both a moral and legal responsibility for what happens to those students.”
“Every precipitous school closure is the failure of our government,” he said. “Institutions need to be financially stable to take financial aid or GI Bill money. And the Department of Education is responsible for confirming these are financially healthy institutions. So, every time an institution closes overnight, yes, there was something wrong with the institution. But I got news for you: there was something wrong with the Department of Education to have let them in.”
“These issues represent triage after the disaster,” said Nassirian. “What they’re dealing with is what to do when bad things happen. When people get defrauded. When a school collapses on them. But you’re not taking a proactive approach to devise a system that can prevent this from happening from the start.”
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