If, as anticipated, the Republican Party wins control of the United States House of Representatives, federal higher education policy will be radically transformed.
An article in today's Inside Higher Education suggests at least four significant changes:
1) Given the Republican pledge to cut non-defense discretionary spending, research and education funding will be cut;
2) Representative John Boehner, who is expected to emerge as the next Speaker of the House, has close ties to private student lenders. As a result, the costly Federal Family Education Loan Program, which guaranteed private lenders high rates of return on risk free student loans, may be revived. The middle man role of private lenders had been eliminated by the 110 Congress;
3) The Pell Grant program, which provides low-income students federal grants to pay for higher education will almost certainly experience either direct cuts or be reduced through restricting student eligibility.
4) The effort to regulate for-profit diploma mills will almost certainly be limited to requiring them to disclose costs and graduation and repayment rates. The "gainful employment initiative," a quality control measure designed to tie federal funding to performance, will die.
The Inside Higher Education article is linked here.