To say that Betsy DeVos is unqualified to lead the Department of Education is an understatement. Her limited knowledge of the country’s educational foundation, including her complete unfamiliarity of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, serves to underscore the fact that there are better people for the job.
During her confirmation hearings, she repeatedly deflected questions regarding student loans, only going so far as to say that she would research the subject more.
Betsy DeVos herself has no experience with student loans because she never had to take any, nor did her children. Not that there is anything wrong with being able to afford a college education without going into debt, but the complete disconnect that her and her family have from most students is alarming.
A proposed program to cut student loan interest substantially, along with programs designed to lower the burden of higher education cost for low income families, seem destined to go nowhere with DeVos at the helm of the Education Dept. This will cause a greater number of students to take out more loans for college, likely at interest rates as high as 8%, leading to higher education costs across the board as colleges continue raising their rates.
Plans to make community colleges free or only requiring a nominal fee will also be stalled for at least 4 years. Even a fraction of underclassmen in 4-year colleges taking community college courses can drastically reduce the nation’s overall student loan burden. This, along with the above programs, will probably cost taxpayers $25 billion a year, at minimum.
As it stands now, total student loan debt by itself is increasing about $100 billion a year (not including private loans) and will probably keep going up for the foreseeable future.