Trump’s Presidency and the Future of Higher Education

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In just under two months, President-elect Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States and his mission to make America great again will officially begin. It’s not entirely clear what this holds for the future for education as Trump has mainly focused on the subject of expanding school choice.

With little concrete information regarding his overall education plan, the focus is currently on predicting the actions of the 115th Congress. Federal lobbyist firm, Arnold & Porter, released a post-election document analyzing numerous aspects of governmental policies, including education and the direction Congress may take in the first two years of Trump’s presidency.

Arnold & Porter believe student data privacy is likely to remain a major issue for Congress with updates coming to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the re-introduction of multiple data privacy-related bills. Work is predicted to resume on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act in early 2017 when Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C) is expected to become head of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. Likely to be included in the HEA are simplified repayment programs for student loans, something Trump committed to during his campaign.

Trump has said repeatedly he wants less federal involvement in education. Back in January 2016, Trump told the Wall Street Journal he planned on tremendous amounts of cutting to the federal government and that “education should be local and locally managed.”

We’ll have to wait and see what exactly this means.