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Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Hazy On Why She’s Screwing Over Students With Loan Debt

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School loans suck, but the reality is that they are an accessible financial aid resource for low-income college students if scholarships aren’t available in an era where tuition-free college is slowly and steadily emerging. Loans are literal life-suckers on finances and mental health, exacerbating anxiety and depression. It is especially devastating when you’re sold into the idealism of instantaneously winning a well-paying job upon graduation.

But real life cheats your idealism. Then after you walk the graduation stage, the only paper you’re left with ain’t green dollar bills, but your diploma and loan letters.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has withdrawn two Obama-established memos that protected borrowers.

Her reasons?

“…to negate any impediment, ambiguity or inconsistency in the approach.”

In response to the widespread loan default—when borrowers fail to pay off loans—in 2016, the Obama administration took measures to alleviate the loan epidemic, such as incentivizing methods.

Bearing some parallels to the Affordable Health Care Act, a.k.a. the Obama-era loan memos are evidently rife with faults. Despite initial positive reception, there are criticisms against its effectiveness, including its inability to fight off surging tuitions. In the broad issue, DeVos isn’t incorrect to state that the loan system is a bureaucratic nightmare.

But bearing parallels to the GOP war on healthcare, removing the protections is a particularly uninformed decision. DeVos essentially states the obvious: the shield has cracks. Then she commits the “solution”: We’ll just take the shield away instead of filling in the cracks.

What adds to the injury is that DeVos offers little clarity on the removal of the Obama-era memos, only vaguely offering empty words about the “lack of consistent objectives.” Her seizure of the memos had to become headlines before the public could pass their input. The Houston Chronicle states, “her spokesmen, Jim Bradshaw and Matthew Frendewey, didn’t respond to requests for comment.”

DeVos’s letter informs the intention to “limit the cost to taxpayers,” which is a slap in the face to students who have trouble paying taxes precisely because of loan debt.

If anything, she ends up prioritizing debt collectors rather than the borrowers, leaving students more vulnerable to disproportionate penalties.

The forecast: loan defaults, debts, inability to pay taxes, surges of depression, anxiety, mounting bills. This is going to be life-sucking.

(image: Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

Caroline Cao is a Houstonian Earthling surviving under the fickle weather of Texas. When she’s not angsting over her first poetry manuscript or a pilot screenplay about space samurais, she’s doing cheesy improv performances for BETA Theater, experimenting with ramen noodles, engaged in Star Wars fanfictions, or hollering vocal flash fics on Instagram. Her columns and poems have popped up on The Cougar, Mosaics: The Independent Women Anthology, Glass Mountain. Her flash fiction recently earned an Honorable Mention title in Sweater Weather magazine. She has her own Weebly portfolio and contributes thinkpieces to Birth.Movies.Death. She’s also lurking in the shadows waiting for you to follow her on Twitter.

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