A “triad” of regulators is supposed to ensure that student loan borrowers are not harmed by low-value institutions of higher education, including exploitative profiteers operating fly-by-night or predatory institutions of higher education. The triad has failed. Millions of students have borrowed billions of federal student loan dollars that they won’t ever repay, causing borrowers to suffer needless economic harm and psychological anguish. But these harms were, are, and remain mostly preventable. This Article appears to be the first law review article to consider the states’ role in policing institutional quality and ensuring that student borrowers are not preyed upon by low-value institutions of higher education. It suggests concrete steps states could take, such as adopting a state version of financial responsibility scores, the gainful employment rule, or a cohort default rate metric, to avoid being characterized as the forgotten stewards of higher education quality.



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