Ameritech Financial: The People Have Voted and the Result for Higher Education is Undecided

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Policymakers and educators have been looking at the fallout from the recent midterm elections and see a number of higher education issues that may be affected. Betsy DeVos, Secretary of the Department of Education (DOE), has moved to undo or limit many Obama-era regulations. This includes weakening rules aimed to hold colleges accountable for the repayment of federal loan debt of their students. Until now, DOE regulatory changes have been encouraged by the administration but held up in state and federal courts. Now, with a Democrat-controlled Congress that is invested with the "power of the purse," these regulatory changes could be further delayed by withheld congressional funding. Depending on perspective, limiting the DOE might result in less educational choice or upheld standards for colleges that produce students unable to keep up with their student loan debt. No matter the outcome, Ameritech Financial, a document preparation company, will continue to help borrowers overwhelmed with student loan debt apply for and maintain enrollment in federal programs, such as income-driven repayment plans (IDRs) that can possibly lower monthly payments based on income and family size.

"The political climate is intense and deeply divided, but our goals remain clear," said Tom Knickerbocker, executive vice president of Ameritech. "We help borrowers who are unable to keep up with their student loan debt. We guide our clients through the sometimes overly complex processes and act as their trusted advocate as they deal with their loan servicers."

Aside from oversight on institutions to be accountable for the ability of students to repay their student loans, a Democratic Congress might also oppose DOE changes to how colleges handle cases of sexual misconduct under Title IX and plans to rewrite college accreditation regulations. Democrats, such as Patty Murray of Washington, have been bitterly critical of DeVos and will have more power since her party now has agenda-setting power in the house. Unfortunately, bitter partisan fights will make larger bipartisan legislation, such as a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, more difficult to achieve. Tensions between Republican Senator LaMar Alexander of Tennessee and Murray are already high and may get in the way of any possible dealmaking between Congress and the Senate.

The political climate is intense and deeply divided, but our goals remain clear.

Tom Knickerbocker

Executive Vice President of Ameritech Financial

Though voter numbers are not yet finalized, it appears that students voted in higher numbers than in previous midterms. In Alachua County, home of the University of Florida, voting numbers jumped from half of registered voters in 2014 to 63.6 percent of voters. In Monroe County, where the Indiana University of Bloomington calls home, they ran out of preprinted ballots and had to rush more to the polls after an unprecedented turnout. On some colleges, shuttles bussed students to polling places, while student walkouts across the country sent young voters to county voting locations.

Two races for governor, in Ohio and Wisconsin, were closely associated with higher education. Ohio Democratic candidate Richard Cordray lost his race against Republican candidate Mike DeWine, despite running on his record of being chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which aggressively sued for-profit colleges and questioned colleges making deals with particular banks for student debit cards. On the other hand, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker lost to Democratic rival Tony Evers after being highly criticized for applying stringent austerity measures to the state's public universities and technical schools, which increased the burden of tuition on families and students, resulting in increased student loan debt.

"It's always difficult to predict what will happen, though it may be possible to guess that bipartisan political solutions will be hard to come by with parties and people so divided," said Knickerbocker. "We will continue helping our clients, working with them for years to come and assisting them in applying for certain repayment programs and recertifying their family sizes and income in their efforts to keep their payments as low as possible. Through such programs, hopefully, they will enjoy more financial breathing room they so desperately need."

About Ameritech Financial

Ameritech Financial is a private company located in Rohnert Park, California. Ameritech Financial has already helped thousands of consumers with financial analysis and student loan document preparation to apply for federal student loan repayment programs offered through the Department of Education.

Each Ameritech Financial telephone representative has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).

Ameritech Financial prides itself on its exceptional customer service.

Ameritech Financial Newsroom

Contact

To learn more about Ameritech Financial, please contact:

Ameritech Financial
5789 State Farm Drive #265
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
1-800-792-8621
media@ameritechfinancial.com

Source: Ameritech Financial


Categories: Financing and Student Loans, Financial News

Tags: federal student loans, higher education, income-driven repayment, politics, student loan legislation


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Ameritech Financial is a document preparation company that helps borrowers enroll in the federal repayment program that matches their individual financial needs, potentially lowers payments and gets them on track for student loan forgiveness.