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CAEL Pathways Blog

Betsy DeVos and the Higher Education Landscape

The confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary of the Department of Education will unquestionably have a significant impact on how higher education will adapt to meet the realities facing today's students. While the conversation throughout the DeVos confirmation process largely focused on K-12 issues, however, the Department of Education also plays a key role in shaping the higher education landscape. In this Washington Post article, experts highlight the issues facing higher education today-particularly the untenable student loan situation-and how DeVos and the Trump administration might shape any solutions.

Of such solutions, the possible reauthorization of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which was most recently reauthorized in 2008, could be on the table for the current administration. The HEOA, first signed into law as the Higher Education Act of 1965, was enacted to 'assist in making available the benefits of postsecondary education to eligible students,' including the issuance of grants and financial aid programs for students, and assistance to higher education institutions. As students struggle to repay loans to cover increasingly high tuition rates, any financial assistance would be welcome news for students, particulary adult learners, who often fail to qualify for financial aid that requires full-time status.

While the true direction the DoE will take higher education will not truly be known until the current administration releases its first budget, as one expert told the Post, organizations like CAEL are already leading the way in shaping the higher education landscape. In addition to its support of the adult learner and other nontraditional students in higher education, CAEL also guides public policy on the state and federal level. For more information on CAEL's public policy work, click here.

To read the full article at the Washington Post, click here.

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