December 22, 2020

Warren Announces Funding Bill Will Restore Pell Grant Eligibility to Victims of Predatory For-Profit Colleges

Washington, D.C. - Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today announced the Pell Grant Restoration Act, legislation that Senator Warren introduced, will be included in broader government funding legislation that the Senate will consider this week. This critical legislation would amend Higher Education Act to restore students’ Pell Grant eligibility for any period of time during which they would have qualified for loan forgiveness due to school closure, fraud, or misconduct. This provision allows tens of thousands of low-income student borrowers who were cheated by now-defunct for-profit colleges like Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech to have a clean slate, so they can start over in their pursuit of higher education that allows them to build a future.

"Students should not be punished for getting scammed by for-profit, predatory colleges,” said Senator Warren. “I’m glad that Congress has chosen to advance The Pell Grant Restoration Act to ensure that students who have been cheated can hit the reset button on their Pell Grant eligibility so that they can have a chance to go back to school and build a future."

Senator Warren introduced the Pell Grant Restoration Act three times. She first introduced it in 2015, alongside then-Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and then-Ranking Member of the House Education and Labor Committee Bobby Scott (D-Va.). She reintroduced the bill in 2017, alongside Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.),. The legislation considered this week, Senator Warren reintroduced with Representative Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) along with Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) as well as Representatives Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Penn.), and Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) in both the House and Senate.

Senator Warren has been a consistent fighter for defrauded students. She successfully fought for students cheated by for-profit colleges to get their federal student loans cancelled, tax free. In 2014, Senator Warren forced the Department of Education to acknowledge that students defrauded by their colleges had a right to debt cancellation and urged the Department to provide that relief. Through public letters, staff investigations, public awareness campaigns and coordination with state officials – Warren urged more and faster relief for cheated students.