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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (August 19, 2015): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (August 19, 2015)
446 days to go…
Happy Wednesday! While I know the Butter Cow has been stealing the spotlight for much of the last week, there’s also been plenty of higher ed talk and developments on the campaign trail. Be sure to share this email with your colleagues and encourage them to sign up for Millennial Memo here.
CLINTON CALLS FOR SCALING INVESTMENT IN CAMPUS-BASED CHILDCARE PROGRAM: Politico’s Allie Grasgreen reports: “For student parents Clinton would increase funding for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program from $15 million to $250 million. That program provides grants for campus-based childcare centers. By increasing so-called CCAMPIS funding and issuing a college match requirement, Clinton’s plan would create 250,000 childcare spaces for student parents, her campaign said. A recent report from the advocacy group Young Invincibles recommended precisely what Clinton is proposing for the grant program. It found that than one in five millennial parents — about 250,000 students — lives in poverty, a nearly 40 percent increase since 2000.”
HOW DOES YOUR STATE MEASURE UP ON ACCESS TO CAMPUS-BASED CHILDCARE?: On the heels of Young Invincibles’ Finding Time report, a new analysis of Integrated Postsecondary Education Data from the organization looks at how states are performing in providing access to childcare on campus. How does your state stack up?
KASICH SAYS HE’S BEEN “DYING TO TALK ABOUT” COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY: “But despite early criticism from rivals and pointed questions about the political feasibility of her proposal, Mrs. Clinton’s ambitious, expansive $350 billion plan to reduce debt in higher education has opened a new front in the presidential campaign. It has put pressure on her opponents as she has made a centerpiece of her agenda an issue that resonates across classes, party lines and generations… ‘I’ve been, frankly, dying to talk about this,’ Mr. Kasich said in an interview. ‘Obviously these costs are a big problem for our country and people know it.’” (The New York Times, August 13, 2015)
VITTER RUNS AGAINST JINDAL’S HIGHER ED CUTS: While campaigning at the University of Louisiana Monroe last week, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) “students expressed their concerns with [higher education] budget cuts. They asked why  higher education is sometimes the first to get cut. Vitter blames is on a structural problem the state has. ‘Most everything else in the budget is protected in some way. Higher education is not. We need to equalize that and peel back on all these dedications, so that higher education doesn’t constantly get disproportionate in cuts,’ said Vitter. ‘That’s the single biggest reform I would attack in this early special session.’ Most students wouldn’t be able to attend college without funding from the government. Vitter said he intends on keeping those services available for those students.” (ULM Hawkeye Online, 8/16/2015)
Vitter told local broadcast station KNOE: “We need to get out of this cycle of slashing state funding and replacing it with tuition increases because that can’t go on without limit. It really risks affordability.”
SANDERS CAMPAIGN CALLS CLINTON’S COMPACT “SOMETHING OF A DISAPPOINTMENT”: A new blog post on Senator Sanders’ campaign website reads: “Secretary Clinton’s ‘New College Compact’ is something of a disappointment. Instead of placing college ‘within reach’ of every qualified American, it should be available to all people, as a public good—not contingent on individual family sacrifice, or student work requirements… The Sanders plan, which was released last May, would make all public colleges and universities tuition-free. It would eliminate the federal “profit” from student debt and would allow students to refinance at significantly more favorable rates… There would be no payment requirements for middle-class families, and no 10-hour workweek to add on to a student’s class load. Students would be able to use federal, state and institutional need-based aid to cover room and board, books and living expenses – all major contributors to student debt. It would triple the size of the federal work-study program… The Clinton plan is a step in the right direction. But it’s not debt free.”
WAPO: TUITION IN WISCONSIN CAPPED FOR SOME, INCREASED FOR OTHERS: According to the Washington Post’s Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, “Walker has indeed held the line on tuition, but not for out-of-state, international or graduate students at many of the 26 schools that make up the University of Wisconsin system. Students enrolled in the state’s 16 technical colleges have actually witnessed tuition go up an average 4.6 percent during his time in office. And while the governor put a cap on tuition for many Wisconsin residents, he supported hundreds of millions of dollars in spending cuts for public universities that shifted more of the cost onto families, leading many to take out loans to cover costs. Wisconsin students are now on the hook for nearly half of their college expenses, compared to 40 percent when Walker took office, according to data from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO).”
WHAT NEW HAMPSHIRE IS READING: From the Keene Sentinel’s Editorial Board: “Other candidates have commented on [higher education], but without clear policy plans. Front-runners Scott Walker and Jeb Bush have criticized Clinton’s plan, but have offered little on the topic themselves… College costs were not an issue at the first GOP debate — for anyone. That may be because the candidates weren’t asked about them by the moderators… But there’s still time for college costs to become a major issue for both parties’ candidates. And it should… Clinton wasn’t the first to the table with a plan to reel in college debt, but her perceived front-runner status in the Democratic field meant her announcement brought the issue to the fore. And that’s a good thing. We hope to hear more from all the candidates on the issue, including how to tackle the biggest part of the issue, the spiraling rise of the cost of a college education.”
BUSH FUNDRAISES WITH FLORIDA’S FOR-PROFIT COLLEGE TYCOON: According to the Miami Herald’s Michael Vasquez and Patricia Mazzei: “Jeb Bush’s ties to the industry date back years. Two weeks ago, Bush attended a Fort Lauderdale fundraiser chaired in part by Belinda and Arthur Keiser, who operate Keiser University. A ‘chair’ must commit to raise at least $27,000 for Bush’s campaign. Arthur Keiser is arguably the most politically influential for-profit college owner in Florida. Though the Keiser University schools have switched to non-profit status, Keiser still operates some for-profit campuses under the name Southeastern College.”
MIAMI HERALD COVERS BUSH’S CONNECTIONS TO FLORIDA’S FOR-PROFIT COLLEGE INDUSTRY: Vasquez and Mazzei also note: “In 2001, then-Gov. Bush appointed Keiser’s operations chief, Peter Crocitto, to Florida’s for-profit college oversight agency. And as governor, Bush took other actions that also benefited Keiser. He signed a 2003 law creating the state’s first financial-aid program for for-profit college students, something Keiser had lobbied for. In 2005, Bush appointed Belinda Keiser to the board of Workforce Florida, the agency overseeing regional training centers that provide grants for adults to go back to school.” (Miami Herald, 8/15/2015)
HILLARY TALKS FOR-PROFITS, HERALD COVERS BILL’S $16M EARNINGS AS HONORARY CHANCELLOR OF LAUREATE: “Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign spent the past week touting her new plan to make college affordable — in part by cracking down on ‘predatory’ colleges, and forcing schools to ‘spend federal dollars on things that benefit students, like teaching and research, not marketing campaigns.’ What Clinton didn’t mention: Her husband, Bill, has been paid more than $16 million as ‘honorary chancellor’ of Laureate Education, the world’s largest for-profit college company. The firm is being sued by several online graduate students for allegedly dishonest practices… At a Tuesday stop at a New Hampshire community college, Clinton vowed: ‘I will crack down on these for-profit colleges that are engaging in fraud and abuse of our veterans and look for ways to hold them accountable for everybody else.’ Campaign spokesman Tyrone Gayle did not respond directly to a question from the Herald about the millions Laureate Education paid Bill Clinton, who worked there for five years, and stepped down in April. ‘Hillary Clinton is committed to holding schools accountable for student outcomes rather than their bottom lines,’ Gayle wrote in an email. The U.S. Senate report on Laureate did praise the company for performing better than the industry norm, with student loan default rates ‘significantly lower than the average, not just for for-profit colleges but for all colleges.’” (Miami Herald, 8/15/2015)
CORINTHIAN EXECUTIVE WAS A CONTRIBUTOR FOR RUBIO BOOK: “As an up-and-coming state lawmaker in 2006, Rubio wrote 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future. A longtime Corinthian executive vice president, Mark Pelesh, is listed as a ‘contributor’ in the acknowledgment section of Rubio’s book. A year after the book was published, Pelesh wrote an op-ed in the Tallahassee Democrat praising Rubio’s ‘Idea #12,’ which would push traditional schools such as community colleges to accept transfer credits from for-profit schools. Rubio himself had been a transfer student in the early 1990s and dealt with the hassle of transferring credits. But Corinthian had been sued, multiple times, by students who said school recruiters made false promises that their credits would transfer to traditional schools. … In April, he wrote a $2,700 check to Rubio’s campaign. Between his Senate and presidential campaigns, Rubio and his affiliated political committees have received at least $59,400 in for-profit industry contributions, including $12,600 linked to Corinthian.’” (Miami Herald, 8/15/2015)
FIORINA CALLS FOR END TO PUBLIC STUDENT LOANS: The Globe Gazette’s John Skipper reports that at a town hall at the Mason City Public Library last Friday, “Fiorina mentioned many other instances in which citizens should have more control over solving their problems without government intervention. She said, ‘The government should get out of the education business and out of the student loan business.’”
FIORINA SAYS CLINTON AND SANDERS’ HIGHER ED PLANS ARE “”HOW SOCIALISM BEGINS”: “Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said fellow presidential candidates Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’ plans for higher education is ‘how socialism begins’ while at The Des Moines Register Political Soapbox on Monday.” (The Des Moines Register, 8/17/2015)
FIORINA CALLS FEDERAL LOAN INTEREST RATES A “RACKET”: “‘Government has, in no small measure, created our current problem’ with student debt, Fiorina said, adding that the government ‘nationalized’ the student loan industry. ‘It used to be a competitive industry; it isn’t anymore,’ she said. ‘The federal government basically owns that industry and they decide what interest rates should be, so they say it should be 4.5 to 6 percent. Meanwhile the government is paying between 1.5 and 3 percent interest on their own debt. Kind of sounds like a racket for me.’” (The Des Moines Register, 8/17/2015)
FIORINA BLAMES ACCREDITATION, FOR-PROFIT REGULATION FOR HIGH COLLEGE COSTS: In an interview with the Des Moine Register “[Government has] increased the cost of a 4-year college education by forcing a whole set of very complicated accreditation procedures on a whole set of colleges. Those are very expensive to adhere to. They’ve also contributed to the high cost of a college education by driving out certain choices for higher education, like for-profit universities.” (The Des Moines Register, 8/17/2015)
MEASURING UP MILLENNIALS: A new FOX News poll finds Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton running neck in neck among younger (under 45) Democratic primary voters 43% for the former 42% for the latter (+/-6.5%). However, Clinton holds a sizable lead over Sanders among older Democratic primary voters (45+) — 55% to 20%. Will Clinton see a shift following the release of her plans last week on college affordability and student debt? Check back next week.
The poll also finds Donald Trump leading among younger Republican primary voters with 24%, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) at 14%, and Dr. Ben Carson at 12%.