As she prepares to leave office, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urged Congress not to enact President-elect Joe Biden’s proposals to eliminate tuition at public colleges or cancel student debt.
“I hope you also reject misguided calls to make college ‘free’ and require the two-thirds of Americans who didn’t take on student debt or who responsibly paid off their student loans to pay for the loans of those who have not done the same,” DeVos wrote in a letter to congressional leaders, as well as to the members of the House and Senate appropriations committees on Monday.
"Across-the-board forgiveness of college debts is not only unfair to most Americans, it is also the most regressive of policy proposals -- rewarding the wealthiest sector of our labor force at the expense of the poorest," she wrote.
Biden has proposed to make community colleges and historically Black colleges and universities free, as well as eliminating tuition at public colleges and universities for those making $125,000 or less. Biden would also eliminate $10,000 from all borrowers’ student debt during the pandemic. Then, for those making $125,000 or less, he would forgive debt accumulated to pay tuition, though not loans for living expenses.
DeVos also urged Congress to preserve the new rules on campus sexual assaults her administration approved. Biden has said he plans to reverse the rules, which granted more protections to those accused of sexual assault and harassment but have raised concerns that they would deter victims from coming forward.
"The regulation, which carries the force of law, holds schools accountable for responding equitably and promptly to sexual misconduct, and ensures a more fair and reliable adjudication process," she wrote.