Young Invincibles Delivers Testimony at New York State Legislative Higher Education Hearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 24, 2017
CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org202-734-6510

[Albany, New York] — Today, Kevin Stump, Northeast Director of Young Invincibles, delivered testimony at the New York State Legislative Higher Education Hearing. Please find his full testimony here. It highlights the need for policies that reach young people in New York with the least access and means for making it through the state’s higher education system. He discusses how current proposals in the FY-2018 plan, particularly the Excelsior Scholarship, show strong committment to higher education but currently exclude and penalize part-time, working, low-income students. Moreover, the Governor has not included any Maintenance of Effort funding to ensure institutions can maintain high quality education without being crushed by costs increases (like inflation or energy).

He also discusses shortfalls of New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and urges the legislature to increase maximum TAP. The current FY-2018 budget proposes five more years of annual $250 tuition hikes and does not increase  TAP awards. It also force New York’s public universities to pay for the unfunded tuition credit mandate, which has cost CUNY more than $180 million since 2012.

In New York, student loan debt more than doubled during the last decade, growing to $82 billion from $39 billion, an increase of 112 percent with an average debt holder owing $32,200, $2,000 more than the national average. We are pleased that legislators on both sides of the aisle have a lot of questions around full-time criteria, part-time students, and contradictory tuition hikes.

Share Button

Cassidy-Collins Bill Would Cut Millennials’ Coverage Access & Quality, Not Improve It

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 24, 2017

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

[WASHINGTON]–Yesterday, Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Patient Freedom Act of 2017, a plan that would threaten young adults’ access to health care coverage and benefits. Young Invincibles’ Executive Director, Jen Mishory, released the following statement in response to the proposal:

“Last week, Young Invincibles and 53 other organizations called on Congress to ensure that young adults have equal or improved access to high-quality, affordable health coverage under any potential plan to replace the ACA. While Senators Cassidy and Collins’ plan would allow young people to stay on a parent’s policy until age 26, a popular and important provision of the ACA, their plan misses the mark on providing quality and affordable coverage for young people broadly. Under the Cassidy-Collins plan, financial assistance would fall, states could rely on high-deductible health plans with skimpier benefits, or states could simply eliminate coverage options for millions. The plan also lets states dump provisions of the ACA that limit insurance company profits, providing insurers a windfall at the expense of consumers and taxpayers. Congress should take action to improve health care, but cutting coverage access and quality in states that opt to leave Obamacare would threaten Millennials’ financial health, not improve it.”

###

Share Button

Young Invincibles’ Preliminary Response to Governor Cuomo’s FY-2018 Executive Budget

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 19, 2017
CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

[New York] — On Tuesday night, New York State Governor Cuomo released his FY-2018 Executive Budget. To read Young Invincibles’ full analysis of the budget, please click here. Kevin Stump, Northeast Director of Young Invincibles, released the below statement in response:

  “Governor Cuomo just released the latest executive budget, which has the opportunity to direct much needed funding to programs that help young adult New Yorkers get the education and skills they so badly want and need to enter our state’s economy. With more than 15 percent of 16-to-24-year-olds unemployed and looking for work, this could translate to a potential loss of about $8.8 billion in earnings to New Yorkers over the course of the next decade–the stakes are too high to get it wrong.

The Governor is also proposing to double down on the state’s marquee youth employment program – the $50 million New York Youth Jobs small dollar tax credit for employers – despite evidence suggesting employers don’t find it effective and would rather see investments in training to skill up tomorrow’s workforce.

We are excited by the increased funding Governor Cuomo’s budget dedicates to supporting young adults, but see improvements that must be made to truly support this population in the longterm. The Governor’s plan to make college more affordable through the Excelsior Scholarship is laudable, but we have serious concerns with details of the current proposal that would exclude and penalize part-time, working, low-income students. Additionally the Governor’s budget proposes another five years of unaffordable annual $250 tuition hikes to SUNY and CUNY students who don’t qualify, and provides no “Maintenance of Effort” funding to ensure schools can keep up high quality programs.

We hope that these vital funding streams will continue to be bolstered but also be directed to those programs that provide quality opportunities for young people. With most jobs today requiring a post-secondary education, and with poverty and unemployment rates for young adults across the state remain high, it’s critical that the final budget deal invests in strategies we know work.”

To read Young Invincibles’ full analysis underscoring the unmet needs of young adult New Yorkers, especially SUNY and CUNY students and those entering the workforce, please click here: YI FY-2018 New York State Budget Analysis.

Share Button

Young Invincibles Voices Serious Concerns Over Secretary of Education Nominee Betsy DeVos

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 19, 2017
CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

[WASHINGTON] — During Tuesday night’s confirmation hearing, Secretary of Education-Designate Betsy DeVos took questions from the members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on a host of issues related to education in America.

Young Invincibles’ Deputy Director, Rory O Sullivan, released the following statement in reaction to the hearing:

“Despite hours of rigorous questioning, Mrs. DeVos’ positions on a host of issues vital to today’s students and borrowers remain woefully unclear at best or outright harmful at worst. She failed to articulate clear stances on crucial questions like how to address the staggering increases in student debt, whether she would protect Pell grants and other forms of student aid, and how to assist millions of student loan borrowers struggling with a complex system and unmanageable monthly payments.  Beyond these critical policy concerns, when asked about combating “waste, fraud, and abuse” by predatory schools, Mrs. DeVos would not commit to enforcing existing rules like the gainful employment rule. Neither could she say clearly who would be in charge of any enforcement efforts should she be confirmed as Secretary.

In a time when over 40 million borrowers are grappling with 1.3 trillion dollars of growing student debt, a Secretary of Education without an agenda or even an opinion on issues that affect millions of students and borrowers is a major cause for concern. We are seriously apprehensive about the nomination of Secretary-Designate DeVos.”

 

 

Share Button

Automatic Group Student Loan Relief Offered to Defrauded Borrowers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 13, 2017
CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

[Washington, D.C.] - The Department of Education announced today that federal student loan borrowers at the defunct American Career Institute in Massachusetts are eligible for automatic group discharge of their federal student loans under the recently finalized borrower defense rule. Investigations by the Department of Education and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, combined with admissions of wrongdoing by ACI, demonstrated that the school misled and deceived students, employed unauthorized instructors, and exaggerated its job placement rates.

“The decision to grant automatic group discharge lifts a huge weight off the shoulders of students who were deceived,” said Reid Setzer, Deputy Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for Young Invincibles. “Discharging loans used to attend fraudulent institutions is exactly what the Department should do in cases like these. The Department has made sure that these defrauded borrowers can get back on track, without having to go through complex and confusing processes that can prevent them from obtaining relief. We hope the Department will continue to protect students from predatory actors and help restore the financial security of students whenever fraud has been found, so they can continue to pursue their educations.”

Share Button

New Report from Young Invincibles: Millennials are Significantly Less Financially Secure Than Baby Boomer Parents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 13, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz, Sarah.Schultz@YoungInvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

New Report from Young Invincibles: Millennials are Significantly Less Financially Secure Than Baby Boomer Parents

 Millennials have half the net wealth Boomers did when they were young adults

[Washington, D.C.] — Today, Young Invincibles released its latest report, The Financial Health of Young America: Measuring Generational Declines Between Baby Boomers & Millennials. The report analyzes the economic challenges facing today’s young people and represents the most comprehensive look to date at the financial security of Millennials compared to their parents. The findings are based on a cross-generational analysis of Millennials today compared to Boomers when they were young adults.  In summary, this generation of young people earns lower incomes, is less likely to own a home, and has lower net wealth than their parents’ generation at the same stage in life. Some of the key findings include:

  • Millennials have amassed a net wealth half that of Boomers at the same age.
  • Young adult workers today earn $10,000 less than young adults in 1989, a decline of 20 percent.
  • When baby boomers were young adults, they owned twice the amount of assets as young adults.

“These findings uncover that Millennials have been set back significantly, by not just the Great Recession but by decades-long financial trends, resulting in major generational declines in financial security between Millennials and Baby Boomers when they were the same age,” said Tom Allison, Deputy Director of Policy and Research for Young Invincibles. “Millennials make up the greatest share of the workforce and the largest generation in history, so in many ways the situation facing young adults today forecasts the financial challenges ahead for the nation.”

This report also distinguishes financial security by the characteristics that make this generation unique in the first place: cultural and racial diversity, the increased need for skills to compete in the workforce, and a growing reliance on student debt to finance postsecondary education.

While we’ve seen some progress in closing wealth gaps since the 80s, there are still stark and disturbing disparities in wealth across racial groups. The report shows that young African Americans’ median wealth has declined by a third since 1989. Low wages continue to exacerbate racial disparities, as young African Americans and Latinos earn 57 cents and 64 cents respectively for every dollar earned by young whites.

Regarding student debt, the report underscores that higher education is still on the whole a person’s best pathway to financial security. It is also increasingly necessary in today’s workforce which requires higher levels of education. A college graduate in 2013 earned roughly the same income as a high school graduate did in 1989. Yet student debt is blunting some of the premium a degree provides. Median assets declined faster for student borrowers with a degree (-71 percent), than those with only a high school diploma or less (-54 percent).

The report outlines a bipartisan policy plan to help Millennials start building wealth, which includes the Earned Income Tax Credit, increasing the minimum wage, portable retirement plans, incentivizing ways to save tax refunds, and more. “As the new administration and Congress take office this month, we urge them to consider these findings. We need policies that will help Millennials build wealth and make sure our generation doesn’t fall further behind,” said Allison.

 

Share Button

Newly Released Gainful Employment Data Holds Schools Accountable for Return on Student and Taxpayer Investment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 9, 2016
CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

[Washington, D.C.] – Today, the Department of Education released its latest gainful employment data including important information about how well graduates from two-year and four-year career and vocational programs can afford their student debt. Every career program receives a debt-to-earnings ratio showing how much their graduates earn compared to what they borrowed. Programs that exceed debt-to-earnings thresholds for multiple years fail the test and ultimately lose access to federal financial aid. Moreover, the Department of Education could use the data to warn students and families about poorly performing schools.

Christopher Nellum, Policy Director of Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:

“Too many career colleges charge high prices, but fail to adequately train students for the job market, leaving them under mountains of debt with few prospects. Bad actors are particularly common in the for-profit sector, and the newly released data show that 98% of the programs that failed the gainful employment test are for-profit institutions. We’ve consistently supported holding poorly performing schools of all types accountable for providing quality education and for responsibly using student and taxpayer investments.

Despite providing major benefits and protections for consumers and taxpayers, the gainful employment rule is under threat by the incoming Congress, members of which have already expressed a desire to eliminate it or roll it back. This would be a serious mistake. With college costs and student debt rising, we must maintain and strengthen rules like gainful employment, which keep the interests of students first.”

Young Invincibles was a lead student advocate on the gainful employment negotiated rulemaking session.

 

Share Button

Young Invincibles’ Statement on NY Governor Cuomo’s Announcement of Tuition Free Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 3rd, 2016

CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

[New York] – Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Excelsior Scholarship program to provide free tuition to roughly 940,000 New York State residents who make less than $125,000 and attend a SUNY or CUNY school full-time.

Kevin Stump, Northeast Director of Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:

“After years of tuition hikes and structural disinvestment to New York State’s two public university systems, students are excited that increased state resources are going to help them access more affordable public higher education. This is a positive step forward, and we’re hopeful that this commitment to investing in the education of young adults will be extended to even more students, including part-time and immigrant students.

We look forward to continuing the conversation with the Governor and the legislature to ensure that, in addition to covering tuition costs, resources are available to help students who are struggling to pay for other expenses associated with earning degree such as child care, housing, transportation, and more. Non-tuition expenses make up the majority of the full cost of attending 4-year and 2-year public institutions.

It is critical that any proposal to make tuition free comes with a commitment from state lawmakers to also fully fund CUNY and SUNY so they can provide the high quality public higher education New Yorkers need to succeed in our workforce.”

Young Invincibles is a Steering Committee member of the CUNY Rising Alliance.

Share Button

Young Invincibles Announces “YI Scholars” Summer Fellowship Program for College Students in Partnership with Cognosante Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sarah Schultz, Sarah.Schultz@YoungInvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

Young Invincibles Announces “YI Scholars” Summer Fellowship Program for College Students in Partnership with Cognosante Foundation

Washington, DC— January 3, 2017 —Young Invincibles (YI), a national Millennial research and advocacy organization, and the Cognosante Foundation, the charitable arm of Cognosante–pioneers in health IT solutions– are pleased to announce the third year of the YI Scholars Program. Launched in March 2015, the summer fellowship program offers first-generation college students the opportunity to join the Young Invincibles team in working on today’s most pressing economic issues facing young adults.

The fellowship program builds a range of skills, including public speaking, data analysis, training, community organizing, and development. Scholars serve as integral members of Young Invincibles’ departments for the 10-week program, helping to support research projects, policy initiatives, media strategy, organizing, curriculum development for YI health and financial education initiatives, consulting services, and beyond. Fellows will also have the opportunity to attend networking events, visit with YI’s partner organizations, and will receive a variety of trainings on professional development skills.

This summer, the class will increase from last year’s eight fellows to ten: four fellows will participate in the program from YI’s Washington, D.C. office, two fellows from the Chicago, IL office, two from the Austin, TX office, and two from our Los Angeles, CA office. Regional fellows will fly to Washington, D.C. to meet with their fellow Scholars, staff and the Cognosante Foundation, and to participate in other activities at the beginning and end of the program.

The Cognosante Foundation is funding the entire program and will work closely with the YI Scholars throughout the summer.

“The Cognosante Foundation is committed to developing opportunities for young people and underrepresented communities,” said Michele Kang, founder and CEO of Cognosante and the President of the Cognosante Foundation. “We have seen first-hand the positive impacts of the YI Scholars Program, and we are pleased to partner again with Young Invincibles to not only offer but to expand the program in 2017.”

The YI Scholars Program provides a $5,000 summer stipend for fellows, with a focus on first-generation college students, and strongly encourages students from underrepresented communities to apply. The program will also cover the cost of travel to and from D.C., Austin, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Applicants must show a record of achievement in campus and/or community involvement, leadership potential, an entrepreneurial spirit, and an interest in our issue areas. After completing the program, Scholars will become part of a Scholars Alumni Program to ensure that they continue to engage with other young leaders going forward.

“Building on the success of the last two years, we’re excited for our program expansion.  The YI Scholars program is a great opportunity for us to work with the next generation of young leaders, helping them build the skills they’ll need to join the effort in bettering opportunity for our generation and elevating the voices of young adults on the national stage,” said Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles.

Interested students can find out more details about the program and how to apply through the online application and at http://younginvincibles.org/yi-scholars/.

***

About Young Invincibles:

Young Invincibles is a policy and advocacy organization committed to expanding economic opportunity for Millennials, young adults ages 18 to 34, and to amplifying the voices of our generation. Young Invincibles works to ensure that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo. For more information about Young Invincibles, please visit: younginvincibles.org.

About Cognosante Foundation:

Launched by Cognosante CEO Michele Kang in 2012, the Cognosante Foundation exists to help underprivileged and under-resourced individuals, including U.S. Veterans, to build meaningful professional careers, achieve financial independence, and find their path to success. The Cognosante Foundation was created to spread the benefits of Cognosante’s success to numerous deserving causes, including Young Invincibles. More information can be found at: Cognosante.com.

Share Button

New Report from Young Invincibles: New York State’s Top Strategy to Address Crisis-Level Youth Unemployment Doesn’t Match Employer or Young Worker Needs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 19, 2016
Contact: Sarah Schultz, Sarah.Schultz@YoungInvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

New York — Today, the Northeast regional office of Young Invincibles, a young adult research and advocacy organization, has released a new report “Sounding the Alarm: New York’s Young Adult Unemployment Crisis & The Need for State-Based Reforms.” The report takes an in-depth look at the state’s single largest youth jobs investment–a tax credit through the Urban Youth Jobs Program –and demonstrates that the program does not meaningfully impact employer behavior. The report also outlines how to repurpose those resources to focus on evidence-based strategies that invest in developing the skills of young adults.

Youth unemployment among young New Yorkers ages 16-24 is at crisis-levels. Across the state, the unemployment rate for residents 35 years and older is four percent, compared to a 15 percent statewide average unemployment rate for young adults between the ages of 16 and 24.

Right now, the state’s largest investment to combat this issue is the Urban Youth Jobs Program (UYJP), which offers employers small dollar tax credits for hiring disadvantaged young adults. This tax credit currently represents a $50 million dollar annual appropriation from the state budget.

Through Young Invincibles’ original research on the program and extensive interviews with employers and key stakeholders, the report reveals that the UYJP is failing to provide young people, especially the most disadvantaged, with valuable training. Moreover, it shows that employers value having young adult workers who have skills over small dollar tax credits. Of the employers surveyed statewide, an overwhelming majority of 93 percent indicated that the kinds of tax credits provided through the UYJP do not impact their hiring decisions or retention.

“At a time when our economy demands some type of postsecondary credential to be a competitive and skilled worker, high young adult unemployment should be a major concern for state lawmakers” said Kevin Stump, author of the report and the Northeast Regional Director of Young Invincibles. “As a state, we need to stop continuing to spend precious development dollars on programs that are not shown to work, and should instead invest in strong evidence-based models. The future of our workforce and the financial security of young New Yorkers depend on it.”

 

Share Button