CONNECTIONS

Education Dept. Aide Helped Craft Policy Change That May Benefit Former Employers

Education Department adviser Robert Eitel, who used to work for the for-profit college sector, “played a role” in dismantling an Obama-era rule that made it easier for students at for-profit colleges to file for debt relief, according to ABC News. Eitel used to work for for-profit education companies Bridgepoint Education and Career Education Corp., and joined the Trump transition team while on unpaid leave from Bridgepoint. He formally resigned after he was given a full-time role under DeVos. In emails obtained by ABC, Eitel drafted talking points and background documents on the decision to remove the debt forgiveness rule in June 2017. Under the rule, Bridgepoint is facing around 200 claims for debt forgiveness and Career Education Corp. is facing over 1200 claims. Many of the debt forgiveness claims say that education companies duped students into taking on the debt by making “fraudulent statements about job prospects or credit transfers.”