Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), informed his staff that he would be shutting down the bureau’s Office for Students and Young Consumers and folding it into the Office of Financial Education. In response, Mark Huelsman, Senior Analyst and student debt expert at Demos, issued the following statement:
“Today’s students are by far the most diverse generation in our country’s history – and they are also the ones most burdened by rising college prices and the most overwhelmed with student loan debt.
“The Office of Students and Young Consumers at the CFPB was a consistent champion for today’s students and borrowers, one that provided reliable and timely information for struggling borrowers while also offering an outlet and a watchdog for those who felt they’d been wronged by predatory colleges, lenders, and servicers.
“By shuttering this office, Acting Director Mulvaney has provided yet another data point proving that the Trump administration cares far less about students and young people than it does about corporate interests. Director Mulvaney’s actions indicate he has given up on the future of our country.”
The Office for Students and Young Consumers provided students and consumers with information about how to pay for college and repay student loans, while holding lenders, banks, debt collectors and for-profit colleges accountable when they did not act in the best interests of students. This division of the CFPB alone has saved student loan borrowers $750 million in relief while continuing to strengthen our student loan repayment system.
Since 2006, Demos has been a leader in advancing policy solutions to address the college debt crisis facing America’s students. After years of studying the trends in funding for higher education at the state level, Demos released a policy blueprint in 2014, titled The Affordable College Compact, under the leadership of Tamara Draut, Vice President of Policy and Research. For the first time, the compact outlined a detailed approach to achieve debt-free college through federal-state partnerships, with the goal of making public higher education more affordable for all students.