There have been a few things published about what the Sir Lout Administration means as regards higher education policy. But as it happens, nobody knows. We knew a lot about what Clinton wanted to do, but basically all we know about Sir Lout is that he is all about "the opposite of that nasty woman," what congressional Republicans want to do, and this ghastly thing from last May.
Sam Clovis, the national co-chair and policy director of Trump's campaign, outlined for Inside Higher Ed the ideas that the presumptive GOP nominee is preparing to put forth. While final decisions have not been made on when the ideas will be formally unveiled, not to mention many details worked out, Clovis said the Trump campaign expects higher education to be a major issue in the fall general election.
It wasn't. But anyway, here's Clovis, who I guess is still going to have something to bray about as regards the Sir Lout Official Higher Education Strategy, insofar as Sir Lout can even be bothered to consider it. The May IHE piece is, I'm sure, destined to become something of a historical curiosity to show. Have a drink first. I did.
First off, Clovis made clear that the Trump campaign will fight and not endorse Hillary Clinton's proposal for debt-free public higher education or the Bernie Sanders plan for free public higher education. The response on those ideas will be "unequivocally no," Clovis said. "How do you pay for that? It's absurd on its surface."
Further, Trump will also reject President Obama's proposals for a state-federal partnership to make community college free for new high school graduates. Community colleges are "damn near free" now, and "almost anyone can afford community college," he said.
You could pay for it pretty easily, and ha ha ha no, not almost anyone can pay for community college -- even with existing governmental assistance programs.
Many of the ideas on which the Trump campaign is working involve a complete overhaul of the federal student loan system, moving the government out of lending and restoring that role to private banks, as was the case before President Clinton partially and President Obama fully shifted loan origination from private lenders to the government. "We think it should be marketplace and market driven," he said. Local banks should be lending to local students, he said, but colleges should be playing a role in determining loan worthiness on factors that go beyond family income.
This is basic GOP ideology, and also nuts. There are no such fucking thing as "local banks" anymore. Public colleges cannot and should not run credit checks on 18-year-olds -- that is a massive transfer of cash to the private sector. It's a huge mess for private schools as well. The reason for ending the private lending system in the first place was that it was a predatory system that failed. So, par for Sir Loutism.
Oh, and "factors that go beyond family income" is code.
Further, he said that all colleges should have "skin in the game" and share the risk associated with student loans. Many in Congress (and not just Republicans) have voiced support for that idea. But many Democrats have argued that some institutions -- historically black colleges or community colleges, for example -- should be exempt, given their histories of educating many students from low-income families who may not have the financial resources of others. But Clovis said that the principle of colleges sharing risk must apply to all institutions.
The message to community colleges and HBCs? You're fired.
Further, he said that the risk needs to be substantial enough to change the way colleges decide whether to admit students, and which programs they offer.
So much for open admission.
And this is fun:
And these reforms would make it legitimate for colleges and banks to make decisions in part on students' prospective majors and their likely earnings after graduation, he said.
"If you are going to study 16th-century French art, more power to you. I support the arts," Clovis said. "But you are not going to get a job."
A college should factor that in when deciding on a student's loan eligibility, and the requirement that colleges share the risk would be a powerful incentive to do so, Clovis added.
Oh my sweet Irish buttocks. If you can read 16th-century French and can competently discuss the culture of that place and time, you are one very smart motherfucker and would be hired in one fucking second by any company desperately needing someone highly literate in two languages who is capable of very advanced critical thinking. You will be turning down jobs, probably because you will have no desire to listen to cretins all day.
And Clovis said this does not mean the Trump campaign is against the liberal arts. "The liberal arts education is the absolute foundation to success in life," Clovis said, adding that he hoped business and engineering and health professions and education students would include liberal arts courses in their college educations. But it is a different thing altogether, Clovis said, to focus on such fields. "If you choose to major in the liberal arts, there are issues associated with that."
Indeed. If you choose such a major, you might just learn how to spot obvious logical fallacies. And what good would THAT do you. Of course, it is different for the swans, as opposed to the ducklings:
There may be colleges that decide they are comfortable backing loans for students who study the liberal arts. A prestigious college could legitimately decide that anyone it graduates -- regardless of major -- will do well in life, and so go ahead with approving the borrowing. "If you go to Harvard, you can major in anything you want, and once you get in the door, you'll be OK," Clovis said, so such a college might be fine with its students borrowing to study the liberal arts. "But not all colleges are in the same system," he said.
You know, I thought I had as many "fuck yous" stockpiled as I'd imagined I'd ever require. But now I fear a shortage.