New HE bill rolls back Obama-era safeguards

Congressional Republicans began work last Tuesday on an extensive rewrite of the law that governs the nation’s system of higher education, seeking to dismantle landmark Obama administration regulations designed to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges and to repay the loans of those who earned worthless degrees from scam universities, writes Erica L Green for The New York Times.

But in its systematic effort to erase former president Barack Obama’s fingerprints from higher education, the measure before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce could undermine bedrock elements that have guided university education for decades. One provision could do away with the system of ‘credit hours’ that college students earn to complete their degrees, which could help for-profit colleges inflate the value of their degrees.

Many elements of the bill pursue bipartisan goals: simplifying the federal financial aid process, cutting down on student debt and expanding programmes like federal work-study programmes. But the bill’s efforts to roll back the Obama legacy will divide Congress and the education community along partisan lines – and bolster efforts already underway by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to boost the fortunes of for-profit colleges and universities.
Full report on The New York Times site