department of education

Comment letter to the U.S. Department of Education on revisions to Cash Management Rule

This comment letter responds to the U.S. Department of Education’s request for suggested revisions to its Cash Management Rule. Woodstock Institute suggests that the rule be made stronger to protect students from financial product that can negatively affect their finances. To further help students, the rule should include equal credit protections for Tier 1 and Tier 2 prepaid cards, require schools to give students free access to account history, require low opening deposit and minimum account balances, and prohibit deposit advance products.

Let the Department of Education know that students should have safe banking options on campus

Many colleges enter into marketing agreements with banks to promote their banking services on campus, often in exchange for financial benefits for the schools. These agreements may include provisions requiring students to receive federal aid disbursements on the banking partner’s prepaid or debit cards. According to the Government Accountability Office, at least 852 schools have agreements to provide debit or prepaid cards to their students.

We need strong rules for shady for-profit colleges

When potential students search online with terms such as “become a police officer in Chicago” or “state trooper college,” a link to Westwood’s criminal justice program pops up near the top of the results. Many students reasonably believe that a Westwood degree would be a foot in the door at the Chicago Police Department or the Illinois State Police.

Protect students from schools with high debt and little benefit

Often students leave these schools with high debt loads, even though their employment prospects may be no better than before. This means they may not be able to repay their student loans, save for emergencies, buy a house, or improve their economic opportunities.

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