What an educational disaster would it be to see a combination of Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos aggregate a set of rules that change education in the US for the whole world. Despite long standing criticism against Trump and his ‘less educated’ cabinet, Betsy DeVos has been elected as the Secretary of Education in US. How will her controversial journey till date pan out for the country is a matter of much debate amongst academicians and students alike. However, PaGaLGuY has tried to break down the factors affecting Indian students aspiring for the US, that are expected to change in the days to come.
Billionaire Betsy DeVos, the new Education Secretary of the US who has contributed, according to reports, approximately $200 million to the Republican Party, has been a strong supporter of privatising educational institutions in America. Hence, it came as quite a surprise, when in a recent press conference, she suggested gutting funds to public schools and universities. Seeing as how Trump has rallied for privatisation of student debt during his presidential campaigns, he has been hell-bent on opening the public education sector to private players. Trump’s campaign proposed a complete overhaul of the federal student loan system, moving the government out of lending and restoring that role to private banks. Sam Clovis, the Policy Director of Trump’s campaign, was quoted in an interview as saying, ‘We think it should be a marketplace and market-driven. Local banks should be lending to local students.’ A direct outcome of both DeVos and Trump’s proposals could probably lead to the entry of private investment instead of government funding into educational institutions, thus raising the cost of tuition in the coming years. This rise doesn’t spell good news for international students whose contributions to US colleges by way of tuition fees, pegged at an almost 100% hike from that payed by local students, and are reportedly responsible to keep colleges afloat.
Now, this is where Indians travelling abroad for higher education should be worried, as considering the heavy exchange rate, an increase in college tuition, will make the US slip out of the budget of many middle-class families. With an increased tuition cost, apprehensions of US study aspirants may surmount their desire to apply there. Ajay Bagaria, a law student from Government Law College, Mumbai, wants to do his MBA from the US, said, “My family has set a budget for my US education, and so I have been looking for a college that would fit within that budget. MIT or Harvard are out of question for me, but if tuition costs increase, I will have to compromise on some Tier II colleges as well.” Students from middle-class families in India have expressed their doubt on public forums regarding financial assistance to study in the US. See images below;
It is hard to draw a conclusion to the Trump-DeVos plan so soon, but Indian students who weren’t deterred by Trump’s anti-immigrant slogans, may have found a reason to worry in his student plans.