DeVos mum on for-profit accountability in confirmation hearing
- The Huffington Post reports on the growing outrage over Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos and her non-committal responses to oversight reform for the proprietary higher education sector.
- DeVos, who has drawn controversy for similar positions on guns in schools and service provision for disabled students, did not answer direct questions about the gainful employment act or enforcement of its standards.
- Critics have blasted continuing for-profit access to more than $30 billion in federal student aid disbursements.
DeVos' hearings have been an exercise in partisan response to a controversial election and cabinet nomination, but at issue for college leaders will be the fallout if she is confirmed. A student enrollment pool which is already shrinking could see dramatic changes if for-profits, which are already among the most active institutions in marketing to and attracting adult and continuing learners, find a way back into the marketplace through deregulation.
There is little campuses can do to reverse the effects of a stalled economy and spending commitments which often leave higher education behind. But they can produce the research and the narratives about the negative impact of potential policy under a DeVos administration, which could lead to extraordinary waste in federal aid spending, limitations on higher education research and negative changes in Title IX compliance and response standards.