Press Releases

Attorney General William Tong



(Hartford, CT) –Attorney General William Tong, along with 19 other state attorneys general submitted a statement for consideration to Congress during a joint field hearing of the U.S. House Education and Labor and Veterans Affairs Committees taking place this afternoon in El Cajon, California.

The coalition’s statement emphasizes concerns of the attorneys general that veterans are disproportionately harmed by for-profit colleges and universities that violate state laws put in place to protect students. Veterans are also disproportionately harmed when these institutions convert to “non-profit” entities but retain business models that essentially keep profit-making arrangements in place.

The attorneys general argue that veterans are at greater risk of being harmed due to loopholes in federal laws that lead for-profit schools to heavily market to veterans—often using high-pressure and deceptive sales tactics. As a result, veterans are disproportionally harmed when these schools violate consumer protection laws, offer low-quality or inadequate certificate and degree programs, or close abruptly leaving students burdened with heavy debt and low prospects for gainful employment.

"State Attorneys General are working every day to defend students against abusive practices by bad actor for-profit schools. The U.S. Department of Education's effort to undermine and dismantle federal regulations—including working to block our access to student loan information—is inexplicable and inexcusable. These changes are particularly harmful to veterans, who have been disproportionately targeted by deceptive and abusive practices, and abrupt school closures. Today's joint field hearing is an important oversight step, and I thank the House for shining a light on this critical issue," said Attorney General Tong.

In their statement, the attorneys general also outline the multiple efforts they have undertaken to protect students and loan borrowers, including investigations and enforcement actions brought against several for-profit schools and opposing attempts by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to dismantle federal regulations that guard against abuses by for-profit schools. The ED has also refused to help defrauded students obtain federal loan forgiveness, failed to institute protections for students of for-profit schools that abruptly close, and has limited sharing student loan information with attorneys general. The long-standing practice of information sharing has been vital to state efforts to protect consumers from illegal, unfair, abusive, or deceptive practices in the higher education industry.

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh led the coalition in submitting the letter. In addition, the statement is signed by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

Assistant Attorney General John Langmaid and Joseph Chambers, head of the Finance Department, are assisting the Attorney General with this matter.


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