Young Invincibles Commends Department of Ed For Recent Steps Taken To Help Distressed Borrowers

The Department of Education recently released the final version of what has been commonly referred to as the “Borrower Defense Rule” to the benefit of students nationwide. The rule has several features that benefit students:

  • The rule strictly limits pre-dispute arbitration agreements between a school and a student. Too often, these arbitration agreements buried in the fine print of enrollment forms have stifled or outright stripped students of their right to a day in court, as well as the right to form a class action. The elimination of these arbitration clauses will increase the odds that bad actors can be held accountable to benefit of students and taxpayers.
  • The rule moves to hold risky institutions accountable to students and taxpayers by creating clear pathways and triggers that enact taxpayer protections in case of institutional failure. This includes requiring letters of credit from flagging schools to ensure that should they close, students can be made whole and taxpayers are protected. While the statutory rights of defrauded students and students at closed schools are not dependent on the financial holdings of the institution they attended, the rule provides important mechanisms to hold schools accountable, limit harm, and prevent future fraudulent behavior.
  • The rule also includes early warning provisions for students and provides essential information about closed school discharges, including automatic discharge for students that do not re-enroll within three years and retroactive relief. Borrower outreach and education about their options is extremely necessary, as is automatic discharge where it can be granted.

The rule also creates a standard process for borrower defense relief and enables automatic group discharge when determined by the Department of Education. While it is important this option was maintained and clarified, it is important that automatic group discharge be granted wherever possible to make defrauded students whole wherever the Department has determined evidence of fraud. This would include, but certainly not be limited to, the situation with Corinthian Colleges, where fraud was rampant and the vast majority of students have yet to receive relief.

Additionally, the Department announced that it will be restoring Pell Grant eligibility to students who attended closed schools. This is an enormous relief to an untold number of students, both past, present, and future, who will now have vital grant aid to help them continue their pursuit of higher education. This comes in the wake of the bipartisan support for Pell reinstatement in letters from Sen. Murray and Rep. Messer asking the Department to use its authority to reinstate Pell for students affected by closed schools. It is our hope that this restoration of Pell tied to closed school discharges will prompt Congress to pass legislation to both restore Pell for defrauded borrowers, as well as restore GI Bill educational benefits for student veterans who attended a closed school or were defrauded.

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Young Invincibles Releases Student Agenda for Postsecondary Data Reform


October 5, 2016

Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

Young Invincibles Releases Student Agenda for Postsecondary Data Reform

Groups representing over one Million students sign on

[Washington] – Today, Young Invincibles released the Student Agenda for Postsecondary Data Reform, elevating the student perspective on how we should reform our higher education data systems. The proposal would create a more transparent and effective educational system. On average, earning a postsecondary degree is a young adult’s best path toward better job prospects and economic security, yet is more expensive than ever. Students want to know what the return on their investments will be, but current limitations on the information available restricts them from doing so.

“Right now we can’t answer basic questions about the value of different colleges, like which schools or programs lead to different types of jobs, for different types of students. This is a remarkable lack of transparency given the $1.3 trillion students have borrowed to finance their educations. Students across the country weighed in on how to reform our system, and they are eager to access more and better data to inform their decisions of where to go to school and how to pay for it,” said Tom Allison, Deputy Director of Policy and Research, Young Invincibles.

Over the course of the last two years, Young Invincibles has worked with students across the country to understand how they view information about college outcomes, gathering their perspectives on topics including what kind of data should be collected, how we should use that data most responsibility, and how to protect privacy. The agenda outlines a set of reforms that would increase the amount of data available with an emphasis on better reflecting today’s student population and on accountable and secure use. Groups representing over one million students signed support this agenda.

“The Association of Big Ten Students signed on to the Agenda because we believe that students should know what they are getting when they make one of the largest and most important investments in their life. There is no legitimate reason that we cannot have access to this valuable data and make sure that personal information is protected,” said William Dammann, Legislative Affairs Director for the Association of Big Ten Students, an organization representing hundreds of thousands of students at institutions in the Big 10 Athletic Conference.

To learn more about the agenda and to sign on on behalf of yourself, organization, college or university, find more here:

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ACICS Shutdown Protects Students

September 22, 2016

Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Education took steps to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges and universities by revoking the accrediting power of Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). Christopher Nellum, policy director of Young Invincibles released the following statement:

“In our current system, we place a lot of trust in accreditation agencies to review a college or university’s academic quality. Students rely on accreditors’ seal of approval when judging where to attend. Unfortunately, ACICS allowed many of the worst-acting for-profit colleges to operate, risking the dreams of tens of thousands of students in the process. The decision to revoke the accrediting power of ACICS comes as the culmination of several state and federal lawsuits against ACICS-approved schools, the shutdown of Corinthian Colleges, and the recent closure of ITT Technical Institute, one of ACICS’s largest institutions. This action is a major step toward protecting students from predatory for-profit schools that promise successful careers, but leave students under mountains of debt.”

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Young Invincibles, Assem. Weber, Students and Advocates Hail Final Passage of Campus Hunger Bill


August 23, 2016

Contact: Nina Smith, nina.smith@younginvincibles.org301-717-9006

Young Invincibles, Assem.Weber and Advocates Hail Final Passage of Campus Hunger Bill 

The measure would ensure greater access to food resources for vulnerable students on California college campuses

SACRAMENTO, CA — Young Invincibles joined Assem. Weber (D-San Diego), students and fellow activists in hailing final passage of AB 1747 out of the California state legislature. If signed into law, the measure would eliminate bureaucratic barriers that prevent the Golden State’s most vulnerable students from accessing food resources on its college campuses. It now heads to Governor Brown for his signature.

“We are very pleased AB 1747 has achieved successful passage with strong support. AB 1747 allows the state to take a few small steps to reduce hunger and increase college completion for thousands of  California students,” said Gustavo Herrera, Western Director of Young Invincibles, a Millennial research and advocacy group leading organizing efforts for AB 1747. “We know that hunger and economic deprivation result in higher dropout rates for our most vulnerable students. By maximizing federal food assistance received and spent in California through AB 1747, we can not only ensure more students can access college, but also ensure they complete their degrees. We urge Governor Brown to sign this common-sense measure into law.”

“Nearly a quarter of students in the CSU system and nearly 20 percent of UC students are facing food insecurity,” Assem.Weber, AB 1747’s lead legislative sponsor said. “California should be finding solutions to support low-income college students, reduce hardships, and remove economic barriers to graduation. While some campuses are stepping up to address food insecurity and homelessness, many are not. AB 1747 is a vital step in connecting students with available resources to help improve campus climate and a student’s overall academic success.”

Frequently, students who’ve overcome significant challenges to attend college go hungry when they come to campus. For them, CalFresh, California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), has proven difficult to access. AB 1747 would address challenges students face accessing CalFresh, which provides federally funded food benefits for low-income Californians. Newly implemented state laws (AB 1930, Chaptered Bills of 2014) reduce barriers to application for CalFresh for low-income college students, but many students still don’t know about the rule change or how to apply.

“Vulnerable students who have made it to college are among California’s best and brightest students, and they shouldn’t be undermined by the indignity of hunger,” said Jessica Bartholow, policy advocate for Western Center on Law and Poverty, a co-sponsor of the bill. “AB 1747 takes meaningful steps toward protecting these college students from hunger and state investments in their education.”

Today’s legislative action is welcome news for current and former students for whom this issue is all too familiar. One advocate added, “I am shocked that almost 20 years later, food insecurity is still a major obstacle in beginning, thriving and completing one’s education,” said Kathleen Selke, an advocate working with Young Invincibles. “And with tuition and fees at both 4-year and 2-year institutions having risen 28 percent since the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis,  I fear for future students, including my four younger siblings who have yet to complete school as my experience discouraged them from going to college. With college tuition costing so much, something has to give and it shouldn’t be students’ health.  I am pleased to see our state’s lawmakers recognize the need for AB1747 and have taken action to ensure that we make providing students with the basic support they need while completing their degrees, such as access to affordable food, a priority.”

Should AB 1747 be signed into law, it would establish a fund to support partnerships between food banks and on-campus food kitchens and allow local partnerships to improve on-campus pantry food safety and increase the amount of food available. It would also allow for more information about on-campus pantries and will help the California Department of Social Services better serve low-income college students most at risk of dropping out of school.

California colleges have already taken steps to understand the growing student hunger crisis on campus. Senate passage follows the release of data pointing to a growing hunger crisis on California college campuses. According to a Cal State study released this year, one in four students go hungry on the system’s campuses. Another survey from the University of California Student Association found that 19 percent of UC students indicated they had “very low” food security. As a result of the survey, UC’s President Janet Napolitano approved $3.3 million in new funding over the next two years to help students access food on and off campus.



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Young Invincibles: Damaging House Labor-H Bill Passes Appropriations Committee


Thursday, July 14, 2016

CONTACT: Nina Smith, nina.smith@younginvincibles.org301-717-9006

Damaging House Labor-H Bill Passes Appropriations Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House Appropriations Committee today passed the FY 2017 Labor-H Appropriations bill via a nearly party-line vote, which would cut Pell Grants and restrict the Department of Education’s ability to protect students from predatory education providers. It would completely eliminate funding for apprenticeships, child care for student parents, and health care access for millions of young adults.

Rory O’Sullivan, deputy director of Young Invincibles stated the following:

“The House Labor-H appropriations bill passed out of committee today ignores the barriers to opportunity facing millions of young people across the country. Slashing funding for education and child care could prevent young adults from establishing lasting careers, caring for their families, and boosting their earning potential with a college degree. At a time when our generation could become the first in American history worse off than our parents, this bill would put economic security further out of reach for millions.

The cuts in this bill are expansive.  Pell Grants would lose $1.3 billion, limiting access to college for eight million students seeking a postsecondary credential. The bill would zero-out funding for on-campus childcare essential for young parents seeking a degree – something that has enjoyed longstanding bipartisan support. It would also expose vulnerable students to deceptive, high-debt education providers with an outright repeal of the Gainful Employment rule.

Even as youth unemployment remains 40 percent above the national average, this bill eliminates already meager funding to support businesses hoping to establish and expand apprenticeship training programs that lead to well-paid jobs and productive employees. Finally, the bill would defund aspects of the ACA critical to ensuring health care access for millions of young people.

Students and working families count on these resources to make a better life for themselves and for their families. We commend Members of the Committee who stood up in support of smart investments that help Americans achieve economic security.  And we remain hopeful that Congress can find common ground that ensures access to a quality, affordable higher education, health care coverage for millions of young adults, and alternative pathways to essential workforce credentials in future spending agreements.”


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Young Invincibles Applauds Bipartisan House Passage of FAFSA Simplification


Monday, July 11, 2016

CONTACT: Nina Smith,, 301-717-9006

Young Invincibles Applauds Bipartisan House Passage of FAFSA Simplification

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House passed HR 5528, the Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act, a bill designed to enable students and families fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) more easily. The bill codifies recent changes to the FAFSA that allow students and families to use older tax data to fill out the form. This fix will provide families with more automatic responses using pre-existing data and limit delays that prevent filling out the form, resulting in more students and families receiving the aid they need to afford postsecondary education. Accepting older tax data to simplify and streamline the application process is a vital piece of Young Invincibles’ higher education reform agenda.

“The FAFSA is the gateway to critical financial resources for students and families, but far too often confusing forms prevent hardworking students from accessing college. Up to two million more students could receive financial aid if we enshrine changes to the FAFSA,” said Reid Setzer, Young Invincibles’ Deputy Director of Policy & Legislative Affairs. “We’re pleased to see bipartisan support for improving access to federal financial aid for students and families. The Obama Administration and House of Representatives deserve credit for standing up for students and we urge the Senate to pass the bill this year. We also look forward to seeing Rep. Scott’s FAFSA simplification proposal later this week that aims to further streamline the FAFSA process.”


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Young Invincibles Hails Unanimous Passage of Perkins CTE Bill out of House Committee


Thursday, July 7, 2016

CONTACT: Nina Smith,, 301-717-9006

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed out of committee HR 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, a bill designed to reauthorize the Perkins CTE program. The 37-0 vote advances the bill to the House floor. Perkins CTE allows states to fund robust career and technical education programs in high schools and community colleges, and enables students to get the training they need to prepare for future careers. Reauthorization of the program is an opportunity to advance reforms to help young Americans find work, as detailed in Young Invincibles’ Millennial Workforce Development Priorities Report.

“We celebrate bipartisan committee passage of a modern Perkins program that works better for young people. This bill is an important step toward creating a program that is responsive to the needs of employers and young workers alike,” said Reid Setzer, Young Invincibles’ Policy and Legislative Affairs Analyst. “Aligning Perkins with other federal workforce programs and improving the metrics used to evaluate success will strengthen the program long-term and help relieve high youth unemployment. We look forward to Congress continuing their work on improving aspects of Perkins on the path to reauthorization in the coming months.”


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Young Invincibles: House Labor-H Bill Threatens Higher Education Access For Hardworking Students and Families


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

CONTACT: Nina Smith,, 301-717-9006

House Labor-H Bill Threatens Higher Education Access For Hardworking Students and Families 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the House Appropriations Committee released their version of the FY 2017 Labor-H Appropriations bill, which includes regressive cuts to Pell and provisions that restrict the Department of Education’s ability to regulate higher education institutions.

Rory O’Sullivan, deputy director of Young Invincibles, said the following:

“At a time when tuition and student debt levels are exploding, the House version of the Labor-H appropriations bill released today slashes financial aid for hardworking students across the country. Taking $1.3 billion from Pell Grants threatens to make college less affordable for over eight million low- and moderate-income individuals. Worse still, the bill strips out critical protections that ensure minimum educational outcomes for students attending career colleges. Finally, the bill cuts $100 million from apprenticeships expansion efforts, an essential tool to modernize our workforce and ensure young people have the skills to achieve successful careers. Now more than ever, our generation needs effective education and training beyond high school to achieve economic security and this bill would make those opportunities harder to reach.

We’re disappointed in the current bill, but we remain hopeful that during the upcoming markups, and in the months to come, common sense solutions to fix higher education will prevail over measures that threaten access for millions of hardworking students and families.”



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Summit Takes on Challenges Facing Changing Workforce by Employers and Millennials

For Immediate Release

Marjorie Parker, Deputy Executive Director, JobsFirstNYC

Nina Smith, Communications Director, Young Invincibles
202-734-6529 ⏐

Convening in New York City will engage young adults on policy solutions to better their economic standing and deliver cross-sector strategies to address the growing need for skilled talent

New York, NY, July 6, 2016 JobsFirstNYC and Young Invincibles in partnership with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, and the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island Chambers of Commerce, announced today that they will hold a two-day convening: Adapting to the Future of Work: Creating the New York City Future Talent Pipeline, to be held July 20-21, 2016 at Baruch College at the City University of New York. The event will bring together national and local businesses, employer intermediaries, trade associations, philanthropies, nonprofits, and young adults to deep dive into challenges, strategies, and policy considerations around how the changing workforce impacts Millennials.

The first day of the convening includes a business breakfast on July 20th, featuring leaders from Gap Inc., JPMorgan Chase, Swiss Post Solutions, and others, sharing the talent development strategies they are using to increase both business productivity and young people’s access to meaningful employment opportunities; followed by an event for philanthropies and public sector and nonprofit executives, featuring leaders of WorkLife Partnership and Year Up, amongst others. Finally, the convening will culminate on July 21st with a full-day summit for young adults, ages 16 to 24, that will include dynamic presentations and workshops with entrepreneurs, business leaders, advocates, and policymakers to engage young adults on what the changing economy means to their generation and to build a movement of young adult activists and leaders to be a part of shaping the future of work.

“The demographics of employees are changing and so are employees’ expectations, values, attitudes, and styles of working. Conventional management models must be replaced with leadership approaches adapted to the future employee. As a Director of Training and Organizational Development at Swiss Post Solutions (SPS), I have a responsibility to rethink our traditional structure, how we empower employees, and what they need to do to remain competitive in a rapidly changing world. This is reflected in the positive impact our trainings and team development strategies have on the lives of our future employees.”

Adapting to the future or work has helped SPS:

  • Stay ahead of the competition
  • Attract and retain top talent
  • Rethink management
  • Structure effective teams
  • Create better leaders
  • Embrace flexible work environments
  • Respond to the changing workforce
  • Build the organization of the future”

- Paul Ortega, National Director of Training & Organizational Development, Swiss Post Solutions Inc.

“Young people are dealing with some of the worst economic conditions in our economy, including declining wages and crushing student debt. That is why we are bringing together hundreds of young adults for a first-of-its-kind convening to jumpstart a movement and remove barriers to economic opportunity in New York City,” said Kevin Stump, Northeast Director of Young Invincibles. “We all have a role to play when it comes to advancing economic opportunity for the next generation of New York workers. This event will empower young adults to act as changemakers in their communities, equip them with the tools to succeed, and help them shape a 21st century economy that is inclusive and fair.”

Business Breakfast
On the morning of July 20th, JobsFirstNYC and Young Invincibles have partnered with the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island Chambers of Commerce as well as Swiss Post Solutions, Modell’s Sporting Goods, Wildlife Conservation Society, Benchmarc Restaurants, and UncommonGoods for discussion on how New York City businesses can adapt to advances in technology, changing economic trends, and demographic shifts by creating cost-effective talent pipeline development.

We will hear from executives from Gap Inc., Swiss Post Solutions, JPMorgan Chase, and others on internal business strategies to efficiently recruit and retain young talent. Representatives from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, WorkLife Partnership, and Year Up, will lead a discussion on successful multi-sector partnerships to offset the rising costs of HR while addressing skill gaps for middle-wage, middle-skill jobs.

Those interested in attending the Business Breakfast can register at

Philanthropy and Nonprofit Executives Session
On the afternoon of July 20th, nonprofit executives and philanthropy will explore opportunities for the evolution of the nonprofit workforce development sector.

Social enterprise models, benefit corporations, and alternative staffing organizations are all intriguing options for workforce nonprofits, but getting these projects off the ground can be difficult, risky, and expensive. Moreover, many young workers are entering the economy just as contract-based work, or freelancing, is beginning to proliferate every industry from customer service, to technology, to transportation. How can nonprofits and philanthropy work together to build models that grow towards self-sufficiency and prepare young adults for the current gig or sharing economy, while maintaining existing programs and services?

Those interested in attending the Executive session can register at

Young Adult Convening

On July 21st, JobsFirstNYC and Young Invincibles have partnered with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) to bring together 16-24 year-old New Yorkers to discuss the future of work.

Using the theme of, “Me, My Community, and My City”, the day will include workshops on entrepreneurship and professional development for the jobs of the future; a presentation from New York City Council Members on how young adults can work as agents of change to shape the future of workforce and economic policies; and a panel and workshops on advocacy strategies to advance economic equity for all future New York City workers. The day will also include performances from local young artists.

Young adults interested in attending July 21st can register at

Philanthropic Support

This event has been made possible with support from The Clark Foundation, the Ira W. DeCamp Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and the New York Community Trust.

JobsFirstNYC is a neutral intermediary and a champion for the workforce needs of out-of-school, out-of-work young adults in New York City. Our mission is to improve the system for young adults by bringing together — effectively and efficiently — all available community, corporate, private and public resources to accelerate the connection of out-of-school, out-of-work young adults with the economic life of New York City. |

Young Invincibles
Young Invincibles is a national organization, working to elevate the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and to engage them on the most pressing issues facing their generation. Young Invincibles guarantees that young adults are represented in today’s top societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns that educate, inform andmobilize the Millennial generation to change the status quo. |

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Got Transitions Forms National Young Adult Transition Advisory Group

Media Contact: Dan Beck (202.223.1500,

Washington, D.C. (June 22, 2016) – Got Transition/Center for Health Care Transition Improvement is pleased to announce the formation of a new National Young Adult Transition Advisory Group. Twelve young adults with and without disabilities between the ages of 18-25 have been chosen to advise Got Transition on young adult perspectives on the important transition from pediatric to adult health care services. Members of the Advisory Group are diverse in their ages, geographic locations, and ethnic backgrounds. They represent a unique group of national and state organizations, including Able South Carolina’s Center for Independent Living, Bacchus/Furman University, California Department of Social Services, Foster Club, Kids as Self Advocates, Special Olympics International, The Arc, United Cerebral Palsy, Young Invincibles, and Youth Move National.

As part of the National Young Adult Transition Advisory Group, these twelve members will ensure that young adult perspectives are included in Got Transition’s plans moving forward. They will provide a critical voice in reviewing tools designed to educate and inform young adults on the importance of health care transition. The Advisory Group members will guide Got Transition’s social media and other communication platforms to relay important health care transition-related messages and resources to youth and young adults nationwide, and will help strengthen Got Transition’s partnerships with their organizational affiliates.

Got Transition is dedicated to expanding the availability of high quality health care transition services in pediatric and adult health care practices and health plans. It is committed to involving young adults in designing transition strategies and producing materials and messages. Through quarterly conference calls, virtual trainings, and leadership development, Got Transition’s new National Young Adult Transition Advisory Group will play a critical role in ensuring that the voices of young adult consumers are heard in the development of health care transition resources and processes. Through the Advisory Group’s contributions, Got Transition will be able to better support the positive health outcomes of young adults as they transition to adulthood.

Got Transition/Center for Health Care Transition Improvement is a cooperative agreement between the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health. Our aim is to improve transition from pediatric to adult health care through the use of new and innovative strategies for health professionals and youth and families. For more information, go to and follow Got Transition on Facebook and Twitter. 

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