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Tough on Colleges, Arne Duncan Bequeaths Record of Advocacy for Students

For someone who came into office passionate about K-12 issues, Arne Duncan will leave a big imprint on higher education. After nearly seven years as U.S. secretary of education, Mr. Duncan announced last week that he would step down in December.

During Mr. Duncan’s tenure, the department eliminated banks from the student-loan system, simplified the process of applying for financial aid, and expanded options for income-based repayment of student loans. It toughened regulations to curb recruiting abuses by for-profit colleges and aligned with the White House to push for greater consumer information in all sectors of higher education.