Speed Reads

student debt

Betsy DeVos names CEO of for-profit student loan lender to head the federal financial aid program

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday named A. Wayne Johnson to run the federal student loan system, praising his "30 years of experience" while failing to mention he is acting as the CEO of a for-profit lender, Reunion Student Loan Services, BuzzFeed News reports.

Instead, DeVos praised Johnson for having written "the book on student loan debt" and claimed he "will bring a unique combination of CEO-level operating skills and an in-depth understanding of the needs and issues associated with student loan borrowers and their families."

"Clearly, leaving off Johnson's current job in a press release is more than just a simple oversight," writes the Washington Journal, "especially in light of the four paragraphs touting his experience followed by a section with the bolded, all-caps title: 'EXTENDED BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ON DR. JOHNSON.'"

Around 13 million Americans rely on the $1.3 trillion U.S. federal student loan program. When contacted by BuzzFeed News, a Reunion Student Loan Services representative said Johnson "of course plans to resign" as CEO if he is confirmed.