Most federal observers believe that the first federal agenda to affect higher education will be a deregulation agenda, with the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress looking to undo Obama administration regulations and executive orders related to teacher preparation programs, distance learning programs and possibly the Department of Labor’s new overtime pay rule, which had a significant impact on certain aspects of college operations.
As for the Pell Grant program and other federal government programs that help keep college affordable, it is too early to tell where the new administration will head. As a candidate, higher education issues were not frequent themes for President Trump. In October, Trump did express concerns about student loans and endorsed a more generous income-based loan repayment plan. Many observers are worried, however, that funding for financial aid and loan programs will be targeting for spending reductions by the new Congress.