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President Donald Trump vowed to shake up Washington, bringing in a cadre of non-government appointees to fill key cabinet spots. One of the most controversial of the group, especially to student loan borrowers, is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos who was narrowly confirmed by Congress after Vice President Mike Pence cast his tie-breaking vote.
The history-making vote from Mike Pence can be viewed as a byproduct of the controversy associated with DeVos. While President Trump and his supporters say that his cabinet needs time to prove themselves, many student loan borrowers aren’t convinced. In fact, new research from LendEDU shows that 42 percent of college students think DeVos will have a negative impact on the repayment of their student loans.
In the same LendEDU survey, 66.8 percent of student loan holders told LendEDU that her lack of experience with student loans will impair her ability to tackle the problem. The negative view on the country’s newest Education Secretary doesn’t end there. The same LendEDU poll found that 33.8 percent of survey respondents don’t think DeVos will have any impact while just 24.2 percent think she will bring positive changes to the more than $1.3 trillion in student debt.
The billionaire businesswoman and former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party is the first Secretary of Education to have no formal experience in education. A champion of K-12 charter schools, DeVos thinks parents should have more choice when it comes to their children’s schooling. She lacks personal experience with student loan debt which has been a constant critique; many contend that she cannot relate with or help the large group of student borrowers. Something that was reiterated during her confirmation hearings.
During DeVos’ testimony, she said that student debt increased by an eye opening 980 percent since 2008 which inflates an already bad problem by an almost unrealistic amount. That wasn’t the only fodder for Democrats during her lengthy and often contentious testimony. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren repeatedly pointed out DeVos’ lack of personal experience with student loans. In a letter to DeVos, Warren expressed concerns with her “seemingly nonexistent record on higher education.” Another knock against DeVos: she has ties to the for-profit industry through investments which could help explain the general distrust for Betsy DeVos.
Author: Donna Fuscaldo
Donna Fuscaldo covers student loan news for LendEDU. She covers national, state, local, and even international topics to help borrowers stay up to date on the latest information.