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August 2, 2016

Diverse Voices Criticize Federal Rule as Boon to Plaintiffs’ Bar, Threat to Higher Education

Last week, ILR posted about a newly proposed federal “borrower defense” rule, which Pepperdine Law Professor Paul L. Caron writes would “create new opportunities for college graduates (and dropouts) to avoid repaying student loans.”

Now, Ronald Johnson, president of Clark Atlanta University, is criticizing the rule for its potential impact on historically black colleges and universities, labeling the rule as ”too broad” and leaving these colleges and universities “vulnerable to frivolous lawsuits,” reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Professor Caron explains, “Did the school advertise some leading professors who retired or moved to other schools before you graduated? Obviously misleading — sue them. Did the school mention some of its more famous alumni — perhaps a Hollywood star — while the only job you can get with your drama degree is as a barista at Starbuck’s? Now you can sue, claiming that the glossy puff piece from the school was misleading.”

“If there is no legal standard,” writes Caron, “then everybody is subject to a suit.”

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