Most colleges and universities help millions of Americans earn a degree or diploma to lead to economic security and a better life. In the wake of the Great Recession, it was revealed that too many for-profit colleges – by enrolling hundreds of thousands of students – sought to take advantage of the federal financial aid system to make windfall profits. The 2016 Borrower Defense Rule was a direct response to widespread deception by multiple large for-profit colleges where students took out thousands of dollars in debt based on false or misleading information. Most notably, this includes the closures of Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute, two for-profit chains, where investigators repeatedly documented widespread misleading and deceptive practices.
This fact sheet provides an overview and history of the 2016 rule, including a timeline of Corinthian Colleges’ collapse.