More Work to Be Done on Income-Based Repayment Plan Enrollment and Awareness

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

September 17, 2015

Contact: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202.734.6510

Young Invincibles Endorses GAO Report Recommendations to Boost Income-Based Repayment Plan Enrollment and Awareness

[WASHINGTON]–Today, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report on income-based student loan repayment plans. The report finds that the vast majority of borrowers seeking the additional flexibility these programs provide are low-income (earning less than $20,000 annually). The report also finds that borrowers enrolled in these plans have much lower default rates. Young Invincibles’ Policy Director Jennifer Wang released the following statement in response to the report:

“Young Invincibles endorses the GAO’s recommendations to the Department of Education to increase awareness of and enrollment in income-based repayment plans. Young adults, who often have the lowest earning power and need flexibility in repayment, stand to gain from greater awareness and usability of income-driven plans. The report confirms that borrowers in income-driven plans are mostly low-income. It also confirms that borrowers in income-driven plans have lower default rates. This shows that income-based repayment is vital consumer protection that provides student loan borrowers with the flexibility they need when paying back their loans. The report also shows a very clear need for more outreach to borrowers and better student loan servicing. Young Invincibles agrees, and believes that income-based repayment plans are essential to preventing unnecessary delinquency and loan defaults that can haunt borrowers over the course of their lifetimes.”

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New Brief Finds Major Racial Disparities in College Major Selection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

September 16, 2015

New Brief Finds Major Racial Disparities in College Major Selection, Boosts Case for Providing Outcomes Data by Major

[WASHINGTON]–Today, Young Invincibles released a new brief called Major Malfunction, which looks at racial disparities in college major selection. The report finds African American and Latino students are overrepresented in the lowest paying majors, Latinos are underrepresented in almost all top paying majors, and African Americans are represented at half the rate they should be in important STEM majors.

This brief comes on the heels of the White House unveiling its new College Scorecard, providing students and families with information about institution cost, graduation rates, and average starting salaries. This is a step in the right direction, but students and families need additional information to fully be able to weigh the value of their investment, and that information is major-level data.

“Our research shows that not only are there vast disparities in educational attainment by race, but the inequities extend to fields of study, with students of color underrepresented in the most lucrative fields,” said report authors Tom Allison and Konrad Mugglestone. “For this reason, it is all the the more important to provide students with data about outcomes at both the institution- and major-levels so that they can better asses which schools and fields of study will best set them up for success upon graduation.”

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FAFSA Changes a Huge Victory for Students & Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 14, 2015
Contact: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202.734.6510
FAFSA Application Changes a Huge Victory for Students and Families
[WASHINGTON]–Today, President Obama is announcing administrative changes to make the Free Application for Federal Student Aid easier to complete. Specifically, by making financial aid determinations based on prior-prior year tax figures, families will be able to better access this tax information and have additional time to complete the application. Jennifer Wang, Policy Director of Young Invincibles, released the following statement on the announcement.
“Right now, millions of students do not complete the FAFSA, leading many of them to pass up financial aid they are entitled to. The Administration’s announcement that it will accept easily accessible prior-prior year tax information when applying for financial aid is a huge victory for students and families grappling with mounting college costs.”
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Young Invincibles Statement on New College Scorecard: A Step in the Right Direction Towards Improving Transparency in Higher Education

Young Invincibles Statement on New College Scorecard: A Step in the Right Direction Towards Improving Transparency in Higher Education

Young Invicibles applauds the Department of Education’s introduction of the College Scorecard, housing new data about college access, affordability, and performance, which provides unprecedented transparency in higher education for students and families, institutions, and policymakers.

“The new data is a big deal, and it has implications for improving consumer information, bolstering accountability, and helping institutions improve,” said Tom Allison, Deputy Policy & Research Director. “This dataset answers important questions about employment outcomes, repayment rates, and transfers, and it breaks down the data by income, race and ethnicity, and first-generation status, information that is crucial and that we have long advocated for making public.”

“The data is at the institutional level, however, and it falls short of the flexibility and depth of a student focused-data system. For instance, we can’t break down median incomes by program or area of study. This is a problem because we know what students study is just as important as where they study. We urge the Department to continue building on this system and develop a long-term strategy to improve how we collect and use postsecondary data, by working with Congress to overturn the student unit record ban and overhaul our postsecondary data infrastructure.

Next week, Young Invincibles will publish new research on the importance of area of study, an important student choice not included in the Scorecard data, and explore racial and ethnic disparities in the majors that produce the highest and lowest incomes.

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Mishory: States need to properly invest in higher education to help curb college debt

Appearing on C-Span’s Washington Journal, Young Invincibles Executive Director Jen Mishory discusses state disinvestment in higher education and the role it is playing in driving up college tuition and student debt. Here is a clip from the segment.

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City Colleges of Chicago Tuition Increase Hits Part-time and International Students Hard

“Community colleges get at something fundamental to the classic American dream – they serve as a melting pot where students from different cultures can learn skills that lead to successful careers and financial security. Community colleges also historically provided educational opportunities to underserved communities including international students, young parents, and students who must work full-time to afford school.

That’s why I was shocked when City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) announced a tuition hike that would almost double the cost of education for many students.” Read more at Reboot Illinois by clicking here.

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US big businesses to hire 100,000 young people under Starbucks CEO plan

“Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz on Monday launched a plan for more than a dozen big US businesses to hire 100,000 young unemployed people by 2018. The plan, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, is aimed at trying to help the roughly 5.5 million Americans aged 16 to 24 who do not have jobs and have dropped out of education, a group economists have dubbed ‘disconnected youth’.” Read more at The Guardian by clicking here.

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Starbucks To Announce Youth Jobs Program

Starbucks on Monday will announce a major new jobs program designed to combat youth unemployment, the company said. A collaboration with a host of other companies, including Macy’s, CVS, JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft, the program — dubbed 100,000 Opportunities Initiative — will create 100,000 apprenticeships, internships or jobs for people ages 16 to 24 by 2018.” Read more at the Los Angeles Sun Post by clicking here.

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Are Unpaid Internships Barriers to Success for Some Students of Color?

“Internships are supposed to open doors. But what happens when they are only accessible to those who can afford to work for free?

Maxwell Love, president of the United States Student Association, and other student advocacy groups worry that the answer is a decline in the socioeconomic and racial representation of the nation’s interns.

An inability to take an internship because it doesn’t pay is an issue that Love says his group hears about frequently.” Read more at the National Journal by clicking here.

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New York Lets Pregnant Women Sign Up for Obamacare Coverage

When people buy insurance policies through an Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange, they have to do it during a set enrollment period unless they’ve just gotten out of prison, gotten married, lost previous coverage, had a baby or experienced some other ‘qualifying event.’ Being pregnant, however, isn’t one of those events. ‘A lot of people have assumed that meant ‘if I’m pregnant, I’m having a baby and I can sign up,’ so we’ve had to do some consumer education to clarify that,’ said Christina Postolowski of the group Young Invincibles, which advocates for millennials.’ Read more at Governing Magazine by clicking here.

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