Trump Campaign Plans College Overhaul

, Deborah Lambert, 4 Comments

5440991648_fdc9db5b18_b_donald-trumpWho knew that the Trump campaign would be getting involved in higher education policy this year?

Sam Clovis, a tenured economics professor and Trump campaign co-chair, recently noted that their objectives include getting the government out of student lending, requiring colleges to share in student loan risk, and discouraging borrowing by liberal arts majors.

Clovis told Inside Ed that the mere mention of these policy proposals has sent some Washington graybeards into a swivet, and “he expects some higher education leaders to react the same way when Trump outlines these ideas during the fall campaign.”

Some of the ideas under consideration could be “revolutionary,” Clovis said. Among the proposals currently being prepared are the following:

  • A complete shift of the current federal student loan system to a market-based and market-driven system that would be run by private banks
  • Remediation programs for those unprepared for college-level work would be renamed “student success programs”
  • Colleges would subject applicants to greater scrutiny and only admit those who show promise of graduating and finding jobs within a reasonable time frame
  • There would be less emphasis on parent contributions and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and more of “a partnership” between the student, the bank and the college

Saying that all colleges should have skin in the game and share the risk associated with student loans, Clovis noted that many in Congress already voiced support for that idea, adding that “the risk needs to be substantial enough to change the way colleges decide whether to admit students, and which programs they offer.”

Photo by Gage Skidmore