Higher education has long been one of the keys to attaining the American Dream; however, skyrocketing student debt has turned the dream into a nightmare for many in our country. With challenges ranging from deficient student loan servicing to predatory for-profit colleges, millions of borrowers need help as they struggle to pay off their loans. Rohit Chopra, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Student Loan Ombudsman, stands out as a leader in student debt reform.
Woodstock Institute will honor Chopra with a Community Investment Award on May 14.
In his role leading the Bureau’s work for students and young Americans, Chopra has been vocal about the need for reform in the student loan market. Three years ago, Chopra and his team revealed that the amount of student debt was underreported, and it had in fact hit the $1 trillion mark. He has frequently testified and written about the potential consequences to the broader economy of heavy student debt burdens, including the impact on the housing market, entrepreneurship, and retirement security.
Chopra has also highlighted similarities between the improper foreclosures in the mortgage market and the millions of defaults initiated by student loan servicers, including illegal practices affecting military families and the need for more clear loan modification options for borrowers in distress. Chopra and the CFPB have also fought to stop illegal conduct by for-profit colleges, leading to lawsuits against major chains like Corinthian and ITT.
During his tenure, Chopra has also spearheaded the rollouts of a number of successful consumer education initiatives, including the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, now in use by over 2,000 colleges.
As Chopra continues to seek ways to fix the problems in our broken student loan system, we hope you will join us at the 2015 Community Investment Awards to honor his contributions.