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Buttigieg Calls Out For-Profit Colleges in Debate

July 31, 2019

Pete Buttigieg said during the Democratic presidential primary debate Tuesday that any debt forgiveness program should start with students of for-profit colleges, which he said took advantage of veterans.

"The moment I deployed, my Facebook feed started filling up with ads from these for-profit colleges," said Buttigieg, who served in Afghanistan as a U.S. Navy reservist in 2014.

Buttigieg, who is mayor of South Bend, Ind., also criticized the Trump administration's efforts to roll back Obama-era regulations targeting the for-profit sector. In a plan released earlier this month, he called for canceling the student debt of borrowers who attended programs that failed the gainful-employment rule. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos officially repealed the rule this month.

"On my watch, those colleges that turned the Department of Education into a predatory lender -- that’s where we'd start getting rid of loans," he said during the debate.

Pete Buttigieg Mayor of South Bend, Ind. • Democrat

Amy Klobuchar U.S. Senator, Minn. • Democrat

Michael Bloomberg Former mayor of New York City • Democrat

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Andrew Kreighbaum

Andrew Kreighbaum joins Inside Higher Ed as our federal policy reporter. Andrew comes to us from The Investigative Reporting Workshop. He received his master's in data journalism at the University of Missouri, and has interned at USA Today and a national journalism institute in Columbia, MO. Before getting his master's, Andrew spent three years covering government and education at local papers in El Paso, McAllen and Laredo, Texas. He graduated in 2010 from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in history and was news editor at The Daily Texan.

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