In California, we worked with state legislators to improve college oversight and student protections. We also support California regulations to improve oversight of GI Bill colleges. We helped secure four new laws in 2019 and 2020:
- AB 1340, which requires California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education to calculate students’ debt-to-income ratio at for-profit colleges and programs.
- AB 1344, which increases state oversight of out-of-state institutions that enroll California students in online programs.
- AB1346 helps students recover the true cost of their losses if their school closes while they are enrolled.
- AB 70 prevents covert for-profit institutions from misleading students and taxpayers by defining what constitutes a “nonprofit corporation” and “public institution of higher education” in California.
In Maine, we supported an important bill for two years, finally enacted in May 2019, LD 103, “An Act to Ensure the Integrity of For-Profit Colleges,” which requires annual review by the Commissioner of Education to ensure for-profit colleges are meeting adequate educational standards. For-profit colleges and universities, like their public and non-profit counterparts, will have to report how much money is spent on instruction, graduation rates, loan status of graduates, and employment status of graduates.
In Maryland, we have focused our efforts on closing the 90-10 loophole and ensuring that for-profit colleges fairly invest in the education they provide their students and ensure a fair and orderly closure process.
- In 2019 we helped successfully enact a new law to track “covert” for-profit colleges, but we narrowly missed passing SB 399, a bill that would’ve required for-profit schools to reduce the amount of government funding on which they currently rely by creating a state-level 85-15 rule.
- In 2020 we successfully finished what we started with new laws to close the 90-10 loophole and to require schools that shut down to cancel student debts, refund tuition, and ensure students have transfer options and access to their academic records.
In Massachusetts we worked with the Attorney General’s office on regulations to ensure school accountability.
In New York, we are played a pivotal role in educating the Governor’s office, the Senate, and the Assembly on how they can best rein in predatory and deceptive practices. In 2019, we were invited to testify on three different occasions in front of the Senate Committee on Higher Education, where we highlighted the need for stronger regulation and oversight of predatory schools.
In New Jersey we work with state advocates to support stronger regulations to ensure school accountability and transparency.
In Oregon, we have been working diligently to pass legislation that would close the 90-10 loophole for the entire state. Our bills in 2019 and 2020, HB 2976 and SB 1544, received strong bipartisan support from the very beginning. Although both bills passed the Committees on Education with unanimous support, we were held up in Ways and Means. However, with strong support for closing the loophole in both the House and Senate, we hope to pass our loophole closure bill during the 2021 session.
In Virginia we worked with the State Council of Higher Education to ensure school accountability and joined the Virginia Governor in August 2020 in a press conference to announce a new state law to ensure disabled veterans aren’t taxed on their lawful right to student loan forgiveness.
We collaborate with allied organizations to protect veterans and their hard-earned education benefits. Through these collaborations, we are able to increase our impact and ability to produce meaningful results. Bellow is a list of reports from other organizations that we think provide useful suggestions for state policymakers.