Betsy DeVos, the President’s nominee for Secretary of Education, might be making some changes to a student loan forgiveness program already in jeopardy, according to Market Watch.
During her confirmation process, DeVos was evasive in her written answers when asked about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The question—asked by Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington—asked DeVos if she would be willing to protect the program. Instead of giving a set yes or no, DeVos wrote that she would execute the Higher Education Act and consider issues like sizable national student loan debt once Congress starts to address them.
That kind of non-committal answer has many believing that she is planning to making changes to the program, which would take away benefits to the millions of borrowers who are under the burden of massive student loan debt.
To be fair, PSLF has been under fire for quite some time. Currently, PSLF offers student loan forgiveness to federal borrowers who go into careers in nonprofit or government fields for 10 years and consistently pay their student loans during that period of time. To date, this mostly involved those who entering the field of education, the military, or other public fields.
A recent report stated that the government might have miscalculated the cost of the program, and the Obama administration even suggested capping the forgiveness offered by PSLF.
The first group is set to have their loans forgiven this year, but there is doubt even those borrowers—comprised mainly of teachers and social workers—will be able to receive the full benefits of the program.
While it’s estimated that 4 million might qualify for PSLF, only about 10 percent have applied for it, most likely because it has not been widely publicized and the steps needed to prove eligibility can be confusing.
DeVos was narrowly approved by the nomination committee with a vote of 12-11. She now moves in front of the entire Senate for confirmation, although some Republicans haven even expressed concern about her qualifications for the job.
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