Weak Gainful Employment Rule Leaves Students Vulnerable

October 31, 2014

Obama Administration Weakens Student Protections Against Predatory Career Programs

[WASHINGTON]–Today, the Obama Administration released its final Gainful Employment rule, which seeks to hold poorly performing career programs accountable to students and taxpayers. The regulation is substantially weaker than the draft proposal released by the Department earlier this year and does not go far enough to protect students from predatory institutions. In particular, the final rule scrapped a critical metric that would hold programs with extreme drop-out rates accountable.

The Obama Administration deserves credit for releasing a final rule that provides at least some protection for students after years of intense lobbying from companies seeking to evade accountability. We also appreciate the creation of an interagency task force to increase oversight of for-profit institutions. In light of the weakened rule, we urge the Administration to immediately take additional steps to enforce current laws and strengthen student protections, and to ensure the task force leads to concrete next steps toward greater accountability.

Rory O’Sullivan, Deputy Director of Young Invincibles and lead negotiator representing students during the negotiated rulemaking said, “We are deeply disappointed that the Administration did not go further to protect students from deceptive practices and failed programs. The final rule contains giant loopholes, leaving many students at huge financial risk.”

The final rule:

  • Fails to regulate dropout factories, where students take on debt, but rarely attain degrees.

  • Fails to provide financial relief to students who attended failing programs, essentially using students as guinea pigs to determine whether a program is successful.

  • Fails to prevent failing programs from continuing to enroll students.

We hope that the Administration takes the student voice into account while they implement the rule, and look forward to continued efforts from all stakeholders, including Congress, to do more to protect students and taxpayers from predatory recruiting, sky-high debt, and worthless degrees. In addition, states have taken an increasingly active role in regulating poor performing schools, and we hope that work continues.

“There has been a bipartisan effort in the states to crack down on predatory behavior at the worst performing institutions. We thank in particular attorneys general who have picked up where federal efforts have fallen short and taken legal action against a number of the worst performing schools, and we urge the remaining states to act now,” O’Sullivan said.

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Young Invincibles’ Statement on the Obama Administration’s Gainful Employment Rule

Sarah Lovenheim, 585-746-8281, sarah.lovenheim@younginvincibles.org;
Colin Seeberger, 214.223.2913, colin.seeberger@younginvincibles.org

Rory O’Sullivan, Deputy Director of Young Invincibles and a lead student advocate on the Department of Education’s gainful employment rule-making panel, released the following comment on the Administration’s final rule:

“The Administration caved to industry pressure and scrapped a core accountability metric in the final rule. By failing to include a default rate standard, the Administration ignores the most vulnerable students: those who withdraw from failing programs with debt but no degree. This rule lets drop-out factories off the hook at the expense of students and their financial security.”


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THURSDAY-FRIDAY: Millennials Rising: A Cross-Cutting Policy Symposium

A Discussion Of Public Policies That Aren’t Keeping Pace With The Economic Conditions Facing Millennials

For Planning Purposes Only
Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sarah Lovenheim, sarah.lovenheim@younginvinicbles.org; 585-746-8281

[WASHINGTON] — Young Invincibles, partnering with the New America Foundation and the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network, will hold a two-day symposium, starting on THURSDAY, October 14, 2014 at 10 a.m., on the economic challenges facing Millennials today, and how public policy could better cater to a younger generation that’s still experiencing ripple effects from the Great Recession.

WHO: Panelists will include top Federal Reserve Bank economists, economic and Millennial experts. The full list of speakers is here.

WHAT: Young Invincibles, New America Foundation and the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network convene panel discussions to tackle the most pressing public policy challenges facing Millennials

WHEN: THURSDAY, October 16, 2014 at 10 a.m. — FRIDAY, October 17. See full schedule here for details.

WHERE: Long View Gallery, 1234 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001


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Statement Of Response To New White House Report On How Millennials Fare In Today’s Economy


October 9, 2014

Sarah Lovenheim: sarah.lovenheim@younginvincibles.org; 585-746-8281
Colin Seeberger: colin.seeberger@younginvicibles.org; 214-223-2913

Today, Young Invincibles’ Executive Director Jen Mishory released the following statement:

[WASHINGTON] — “We’re thrilled to see the White House focusing on the economic challenges facing Millennials. The report by the Council of Economic Advisors examines the consequences of the Great Recession for our generation, and the findings are troubling.

Here are three commonsense steps to address some of the biggest issues discussed in the report:

1) As our generation grapples with higher college costs, financial aid has not kept up, and more Millennials must take out student loans. Congress should act now to implement solutions to allow all borrowers to repay their student debt based on their income, and act on legislation like the CHANCE act, which bolsters the Pell grants and cuts college costs for millions of hardworking students.

2) Millennial unemployment is nearly 50 percent higher than the national unemployment rate, and the rate among young people of color is far worse. We need investments in programs that provide real career opportunities to young people, like apprenticeships. There is a bipartisan bill in Congress introduced by Senators Cory Booker and Tim Scott that would incentivize employers to hire young registered apprentices to earn an income while gaining on-the-job skills. These commonsense investments in programs that work would help young people get the practical, on-the-job experience they need.

3) The report finds that the Affordable Care Act was a game-changer for our generation, but we still have work to do to ensure that millions of young people access new coverage, and we also know that black and Latino young adults are still disproportionately uninsured. All stakeholders must focus outreach efforts to ensure that all young people across the country know how to access new options for coverage, and states that have not yet done so should expand Medicaid to ensure that millions of the lowest income Millennials can access coverage as they work to build their lives.”


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September 2014: Millennial Unemployment Is Almost 50% Higher Than the National Average


October 3, 2014

Contacts: Colin Seeberger, colin.seeberger@younginvincibles.org214.223.2913; Sarah Lovenheim, sarah.lovenheim@younginvincibles.org585.746.8281

Millennial Unemployment Rate Is Nearly 50 Percent Higher Than the National Average

[WASHINGTON]— As the national unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.9 percent and the economy added 248,000 jobs in September, the unemployment rate for 18 to 34 year-olds dipped slightly to 8.6 percent from 8.7 percent in August (not seasonably adjusted). Here is more information on how different populations of young adults fared relative to the overall workforce in September 2014.

Sept Jobs

• The unemployment rate for Black/African American young adults ages 18 to 34 in September is 16.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down from 17.8 in August.

• The unemployment rate for Hispanic/Latino young adults ages 18 to 34 in September is 8.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down from 9.2 percent in August.

• The unemployment rate for white young adults ages 18 to 34 in September is 7.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted), up from 7.1 percent in August.


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Millions of Young Californians Expected to Benefit from Seven New Laws Signed by Governor Brown

California Makes Strides In Higher Education, But There Is Still More to Be Done

[LOS ANGELES]— Today, Governor Brown signed a final round of bills, concludingthe 2014 California legislative session. Linda Leu, California Policy and Research Director at Young Invincibles, released the following statement on the outlook for young Californians:

“Young Californians continue to suffer from high unemployment rates, low wages, and a lack of access to higher education. The California Legislature and Governor Brown showed great dedication to millions of young Californians, especially low-income and undocumented young people, by signing new laws that invest in higher education and
California workers.”

“While these laws will go a long way in boosting financial security for young adults, there is more that California must do to create an economic environment in which all young adults can succeed.”

Here’s an overview of legislation that expands economic opportunity for young adults, broken down by bills that have become law, and bills that did not.  Legislation That The Governor Signed Into Law:

AB 1522 – Provides paid sick days to all California workers, with a few exceptions. Currently, 43% of female workers, 32% of Latino workers, and 48% of black workers ages 18-25 do not have access to paid sick days.

AB 2099 – Requires for-profit schools to gain accreditation, in order to receive GI Bill funds for veteran education.

SB 174/798 – Creates a tax credit that could raise up to $500 million to help the more than 250,000 low-income California students who receive Cal Grant B awards better afford non-tuition costs.

SB 1159 – Allows the more than 2 million undocumented Californians to be able to apply for professional licenses.

SB 1210 – Creates the DREAM Loan Program. The nearly 8,000 undocumented students on UC and CSU campuses will now be able to finance their educations with loans.

SB 1247 – Reauthorizes the Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education, continuing the regulation of the 412 for-profit colleges in California at which minority student enrollment is growing 2X faster than all other colleges.

Legislation That The Governor Rejected, Or That Never Made It To His Desk:

SB1005—Would have expanded health coverage to millions of undocumented Californians.

AB1976—Would have created a new model to award all 22,500 Competitive Cal Grant Awards annually.

AB1425—Would have created a system to award degrees for the thousands of former community college systems who earned them.

Please be in touch if you would like to speak with a policy expert, or have questions.

Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal
debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns
designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.


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Young Invincibles Releases California Report on Racial Inequality In Education, and Its Impact on Job Prospects and Wages

September 23, 2014
Riana King, riana.king@younginvincibles.org213.221.7326
Maria Beltran, maria.beltran@younginvincibles.org213.221.7326
Colin Seeberger, colin.seeberger@younginvincibles.org214-223-2913

Young Invincibles Releases California Report on Racial Inequality In Education, and Its Impact on Job Prospects and Wages

[LOS ANGELES] — This morning, Young Invincibles released the California edition of its recent report, Closing the Race Gap, which takes an unprecedented look at racial disparities in the job market, and provides solutions to alleviate them.

The California report finds that young Latino adults, for example, often have similar job prospects as their white peers at every level of education attained, but face a disparity in their wages.  The median income of young Latino adults, for example, is $20,000; the median income of young white adults is $29,000. A Young Invincibles national report found that young black young adults typically need two more levels of education than their white peers to have the same job prospects.

The California report details a series of policy recommendations that the California legislature should adopt to address these racial disparities, and boost job prospects and wages. Recommendations include improving college admissions policies to increase diversity, and boosting funding for Cal Grants to make college more accessible for everyone.

“Education has the potential to improve job prospects and wages for young people of color. These policy recommendations are not a cure-all to the institutional racism that contributes to the employment and wage gap, but they serve as critical steps to help individuals compete on an uneven playing field,” said Linda Leu, California Policy and Research Director at Young Invincibles.

Below is a chart demonstrating the wage gap that persists among young white adults, young black adults and young Latino adults.


Please be in touch with any questions.


Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

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New Report Calls For Federal Work Study Program Reform To Give More Low-Income Students Career-Driven Experience For The 21st Century

September 22, 2014


New Report Calls For Federal Work Study Program Reform To Give More Low-Income Students Career-Driven Experience For The 21st Century

[WASHINGTON]–Young Invincibles has released a report called A Federal WorkStudy Reform Agendato Better Serve Low-Income Students. The report finds that the decades old formula for distributing Federal Work Study favors expensive four-year schools with few low income students. Young Invincibles proposes a new formula for distributing Federal Work Study aid.

Additionally, the report recommends modernizing the Federal Work Study program to ensure that students get more practical experience developing skills related to their education.

“Federal Work Study’s outdated formula helps wealthy schools with little regard for who they serve and how well they do it,” said Rory O’Sullivan, co-author of the report. “We propose reforming the program to reward institutions that enroll low-income students, graduate them at high rates, and improve their job prospects. In a time of tight budgets, we need to make every dollar count. “

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