Education Secretary and champion of for-profit colleges Betsy DeVos is once again siding with this controversial industry and against students who were defrauded by schools that tricked them into paying top dollar for a bottom-dollar education.
Amid the collapse of scandalized for-profit school chains like Corinthian Colleges and ITT, the Education Department had sought to simplify the process of allowing defrauded students to get their federal loans refunded.
But that was before DeVos became our nation’s top education regulator. Now, the Associated Press reports that the Secretary is considering a measure that would provide defrauded students with only half of a refund of their student loans.
Sources note that under DeVos’ plan refunds provided to students would be dependent on the average earnings of students in similar programs and schools.
Consumerist has reached out to the Dept. of Education for additional information on the possible change. We’ll update this post when we hear back.
Consumer advocates raised concerns about DeVos’ plan to half loan forgiveness, noting that many students have already received full forgiveness.
“It would be totally different from what was happening under the last administration,” Jennifer Wang, an expert with the Institute of College Access and Success, tells the AP. “It’s not equitable; it’s not fair for students. If she provides partial relief, it’s that she only cares what’s fair for schools and not students.”
The New Borrower Defense?
The change would likely be part of the administration’s revamp of the Borrower Defense rule.
Under the rule — which as been around for decades, but seldom used until recent years — borrowers could have their federal loans forgiven if they attended schools that were found to defraud students.
Following the closure of ITT Technical Institute and Corinthian Colleges, the Obama Administration began the process of revising and redrafting the rules.
The Department had decided to overhaul the rule in Jan. 2016 following an influx of claims from students shortly after Corinthian Colleges Inc — the operator of Heald College, Everest University, and WyoTech – closed in 2014.
Under the revised Borrower Defense rules — unveiled in Oct. 2016 — a student’s federal education loans can be forgiven if they can prove their college used deceptive practices to convince them to enroll.
The rule was also revised so that schools receiving federal aid can no longer put forced arbitration clauses in their student enrollment agreements. This is important because these clauses prevent students from suing the school in court and from joining their complaints together in class actions. While arbitration is now commonly used in consumer goods and services, in the education field it is almost exclusively used by for-profit schools.
While that rule was expected to go into effect in July 2017, DeVos instead called for a “regulatory reset,” claiming the previous rulemaking process “missed an opportunity to get it right,” resulting in a “muddled process that’s unfair to students and schools, and puts taxpayers on the hook for significant costs.”
The AP reports that the new consideration comes just three months after DeVos extended a contract to speed up the processing of student loan forgiveness claims.
However, in extending the contract, the Dept. noted that “policy changes may necessitate certain claims already processed be revisited to assess other attributes.”
That could mean that students who had already been approved for — but not yet received — loan forgiveness could find themselves still on the hook for thousands of dollars.
Where’s The Forgiveness?
The DeVos Dept. of Education has come under increased scrutiny for its treatment of students seeking loan forgiveness claiming they were defrauded by their schools.
While DeVos noted when she “reset” the Borrower Defense rules that applications for relief would continue to be processed under the current version of the rule, that hasn’t happened.
As noted by lawmakers and states attorneys general, refunds stemming from the Borrower Defense process have been delayed.
In July, acting undersecretary of education James Manning told Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin in a letter [PDF] that the Dept. of Education had not approved a loan forgiveness claim in six months.
At the time, the letter revealed that more than 65,100 borrower defense applications — 14,949 of which were submitted since Jan. 20 — were currently pending.
Of these applications, 45,092 were associated with students who attended defunct Corinthian College schools and 7,186 belong to those who attended the also-closed ITT Technical schools.
Many students who submitted claims for borrower defense have actually been approved. Despite this, their loans have yet to been discharged, according to lawmakers.
Back in May, lawmakers claimed that while the 23,000 students were notified in January that their Borrower Defense claims had been approved and they would receive discharges and refunds within 60 days and 120 days.
Despite this, the senators contended that they had received reports that many previously approved students had not obtained the relief they were promised within 120 days.


The kitchen I grew up in was solid blonde wood – and I hated it. If you told me that 20 years later I’d be loving the same things I swore I’d never have in my own house (sage green walls, shaker style furniture), I wouldn’t have believed you. But the return of warm wood […]
The post Roundup :: 15 Warm Wood Home Accessories appeared first on coco kelley.

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Gennaro Gattuso has been handed a new contract by AC Milan following an upturn in the club’s fortunes since he took over as head coach.


This paper proposes to tackle open- domain question answering using Wikipedia
as the unique knowledge source: the answer to any factoid question is a text
span in a Wikipedia article. This task of machine reading at scale combines the
challenges of document retrieval (finding the relevant articles) with that of
machine comprehension of text (identifying the answer spans from those
articles). Our approach combines a search component based on bigram hashing and
TF-IDF matching with a multi-layer recurrent neural network model trained to
detect answers in Wikipedia paragraphs. Our experiments on multiple existing QA
datasets indicate that (1) both modules are highly competitive with respect to
existing counterparts and (2) multitask learning using distant supervision on
their combination is an effective complete system on this challenging task.


Frustrated with vehicles blocking bus and bike lanes, Alex Bell applied some statistical methods to estimate the extent.
Sarah Maslin Nir for The New York Times:
Now Mr. Bell is trying another tack — the 30-year-old computer scientist who lives in Harlem has created a prototype of a machine-learning algorithm that studies footage from a traffic camera and tracks precisely how often bike lanes are obstructed by delivery trucks, parked cars and waiting cabs, among other scofflaws. It is a piece of data that transportation advocates said is missing in the largely anecdotal discussion of how well the city’s bus and bike lanes do or do not work.
Tags: bike lane, machine learning


A bell at the Lorraine Motel where King was killed tolled 39 times, once for each year he lived. Churches and universities around the world joined in ringing their own bells in King’s memoryAt the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, the silence was piercing at 6.01pm, 50 years to the minute since Martin Luther King Jr was killed by an assassin’s bullet. A bell erected off to the side of the balcony where King took his last breath tolled 39 times, once for each year he lived. More than 200 churches and universities around the world joined in ringing their own bells in King’s memory. Continue reading…


Buy Clotilde’s latest book, The French Market Cookbook!

Our relationship to beauty products says so much about ourselves: do we spend a fortune on tubes smaller than our pinkies that promise to erase any proof that we once smiled? Have we been buying the same stuff, month in, month out, since age fifteen? Do we follow the (totally unbiased) magazine reviews and share in the enthusiasm for this or that new molecule? Do we lose sleep over sulphates, chlorides, glycerines, and nano-particles ?
Do we go full granola and… make our own?
If you’re in the latter camp, but feel intimidated by the long lists of exotic ingredients you would have to special order and then store in some cabinet until they rot or stale, this post is for you!
I’ve put together this list of quick recipes for homemade all-natural cosmetics, selecting ones that are very easy to follow. You can often make them your own by swapping ingredients for ones that will work best for your skin type, and the best thing is, they mostly use ingredients you already have at home!
No excuse not to give them a go, and any of these would make a lovely homemade gift this holiday season.

Homemade Face Scrubs for Every Skin Type
This recipe is a mix-and-match formula for face scrubs. So, no matter what your skin needs this recipe will accommodate. I tried the kiwi scrub, although my mix turned out to be more a face mask than a scrub, I really loved how my skin felt afterwards. Next time I will add more sugar.

Easy Three-Step Oatmeal Facial Mask
This recipe has only 3 ingredients, and most of them will already sit in your pantry waiting to be used for the relaxing facial treatment you deserve.

Simple Homemade Moisturizer
One of the easiest ways to put together a homemade moisturizing cream for your face. The recipe only asks for coconut oil and two essential oils which are commonly used in other DIY cosmetic recipes and to fight colds, so it’s worth buying them. I would simply advise against applying this moisturizer around your eyes, to avoid any contact with the essential oils.

Homemade Natural Deodorant Recipe
This is one of my own recipes, and I am sure you’ll love the simplicity of it: only 3 ingredients, which you would normally use for cooking! If you like this recipe, have a look at my Travel-Friendly Deodorant recipe as well.

“Kiss Me” Sugar Lip Scrub
I’ve tried this scrub several times, and I am a fan! It’s so simple and easy to make, and stores well in the fridge so you don’t have to make it fresh every time. You can easily swap the almond oil for coconut or olive oil if you don’t have almond oil at home; both worked just as well for me.

Sage and Blackberry Sugar Scrub
A body scrub that will leave you with super soft legs, which is worth the trouble even in winter! It looks great and smells amazing. This would be yet another thing you can do with fresh sage, which I love to use in my cooking.

Rosemary and Peppermint Foot Scrub
Feet are often a body part we neglect, especially during the colder months when we feel nobody sees them anyway. So I made it my mission to find an easy and super nice-smelling foot scrub for us, so we start paying our beloved feet the attention they deserve year-round, and thank ourselves when sandal season rolls back around, and we’re all, “I woke up like this.”

Coconut Oil and Honey Hair Mask
I can’t think of an easier way to condition your hair and moisturize it than this two-ingredient hair mask.

Homemade Cinnamon Mouthwash
When I talked of natural cosmetics, you didn’t think “mouthwash” did you? And yet you can indeed make your own all-natural mouthwash at home: apparently, the fresh cinnamon in this recipe works even better than mint to make your breath fresh.

Olive Oil Makeup Remover
If you wear waterproof mascara, it’s likely that you wake up with black smudges under your eyes, no matter what eye makeup remover you use. Do you want to try this solution, using olive oil?

Ingredients Used
❑ Sugar
❑ Honey
❑ Cinnamon
❑ Whole Rolled Oats
❑ Sea Salt
❑ Olive Oil
❑ Baking Soda
❑ Starch
❑ Peppermint oil
❑ Lavender Essential Oil
❑ Vitamin E Oil
❑ Sweet Almond Oil
❑ Coconut Oil
❑ Sage Leaves
❑ Blackberries
❑ Lemon
❑ Kiwi
❑ Eggs
❑ Rosemary
Join the conversation!
Do you use natural cosmetics at home? Do you ever make your own? Want to share your favorites?
The post Super Easy DIY Natural Cosmetics appeared first on Chocolate