#8: What does Betsy DeVos mean for higher ed?

With little background in higher education, stakeholders wonder how the nominee for Education Secretary will impact policy.

[Editor’s note: This story, originally published on November 29th of this year, was our #8 most popular story of the year. The countdown continues tomorrow with #7, so be sure to check back!]

School choice advocates likely let out a collective cheer when President-elect Donald Trump nominated conservative billionaire Betsy DeVos for U.S. Education Secretary, but the higher education community was left to wonder about the impact on its institutions.

The nomination was felt strongly at the K-12 level, where her advocacy for school vouchers pitted school choice advocates against those who feel vouchers funnel valuable tax dollars away from public schools and into parochial and unaccountable private schools. [Read the K-12 version: “Here’s what you need to know about Betsy Devos, likely Education Secretary.“]

But the impact DeVos might have on higher education has been less evident in the few days since her nomination, though this follows Trump’s lead, as he himself has been sparse on plans for higher education. [Read: “Who is the best president for higher education?“]

Overall, Trump has said he feels the federal government is too involved in education and policy.

His transition website says “a Trump Administration also will make post-secondary options more affordable and accessible through technology-enriched delivery models.”

(Next page: Lawmakers react to the nomination)

Laura Ascione

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