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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (December 16, 2015): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (December 16, 2015)

Alright folks, here’s your last Millennial Memo of the year. 2016 is just around the corner! Looking for the perfect holiday gift for a friend or colleague? Share this week’s Millennial Memo and sign them up for updates here. Wishing you all a happy new year.

47 days until Iowa… 327 days to until Election Day 2016…

TRUMP TO ROLL OUT “REVOLUTIONARY” HIGHER ED PLAN WITH RISK SHARING COMPONENT AFTER EARLY STATE CONTESTS: Clovis, national co-chair of Trump’s campaign, “said that the Trump campaign has started work on a ‘revolutionary’ plan for higher education, but that it would probably not be released until after the first rounds of caucus and primary voting — in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Clovis said the plan is ‘a work in progress’ and not ready for public discussion. ‘We’re working very hard on it.’ But he did provide some early details. He said that a major focus would be a reform of the student loan system, which Trump has repeatedly criticized. He said the plan would likely promote ‘some risk sharing’ by colleges, to assure that everyone has an incentive to promote student success.” (Inside Higher Ed, 12/14/2015)

TRUMP ADVISOR BEARISH ON ACCREDITATION REFORM AND EXPANDING ONLINE HIGHER ED: “Rubio, who has called for reform of what he calls the  ‘cartel’ of accreditors that he says hinder reform and the entrance of new, low-cost players in higher education. Trump is unlikely to join the campaign against accreditors, Clovis said. ‘I’m not sure tinkering with accreditation is where we want to go,’ he said, adding that his work at Morningside with its accreditor (the Higher Learning Commission) has left him thinking that the regional accreditors do important work. While higher education should include online options and other new approaches, Clovis said that he didn’t want to see face-to-face education diminished. ‘Online is a very powerful tool,’ said Clovis, who taught online earlier in his career, with systems he said were far less sophisticated than those used today. But traditional campuses matter, too, he said. ‘I still love the classroom,’ he said. ‘I still love chalk.’” (Inside Higher Ed, 12/14/2015)

RUBIO CALLS FOR GIVING HS STUDENTS ACCESS TO PELL GRANTS TO EXPAND TRADE TRAINING: “Although most of the speech was focused on the economy, Rubio did discuss some issues facing college students, such as the increasing amount of student debt in the nation. Rubio said he would like to give high school students Pell Grants to attend community colleges while in high school to learn a trade, so they can get a job following graduation instead of attending a university. He also suggested that people are given college credits for things they learn on their own.” (Ames Tribune, 12/10/2015)

TRUMP DINGS JUSTICE SCALIA FOR FISHER ORAL ARGUMENTS COMMENTS: “Donald Trump says Justice Antonin Scalia’s comments about black students performing better in ‘slower-track’ universities are ‘very tough’ to African-Americans. ‘I thought it was very tough to the African-American community, actually,’ Trump told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview that aired Sunday on ‘State of the Union.’ ‘I don’t like what he said,’ Trump added. ‘No, I don’t like what he said. I heard him, I was like, ‘Let me read it again’ because I actually saw it in print, and I’m going — I read a lot of stuff — and I’m going, ‘Whoa!’ Scalia has been criticized for comments he made Wednesday during the Supreme Court’s hearing of an affirmative action case in which he seemed to suggest that some African-Americans belong in lesser colleges.’” Trump previously said he was ‘fine with affirmative action’ on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’” (CNN, 12/13/2015)

WHAT NEVADA IS READING–LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL ED BOARD CALLS FOR MORE HIGHER ED DATA, GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY, AND EXPANDING COMPETENCY-BASED HIGHER ED: “Instead of creating new programs to finance schools and degree programs that aren’t providing adequate job skills, the next U.S. president must push for changes that will help families make more informed choices about higher education, better guarantee a return on their investment and ensure students’ rights are protected while they’re pursuing degrees and certifications. Foremost, higher education should be more transparent. Colleges collect all sorts of data on the achievements of the students they admit, but schools offer students precious little information on what those students accomplish once they have a degree in hand. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican candidate for president, champions the “Student Right to Know Before You Go Act,” which would require schools to educate students about how much they can expect to earn with a given degree before they go into debt to get it. Armed with such information through detailed financial counseling, a student might decide to pursue an engineering degree instead of one in the liberal arts. Sen. Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, another Republican candidate for president, also advocate requiring colleges to disclose graduate employment. Such openness would help students know whether an institution provides value and adequate training. Performance-based data also should be used to choke off federally backed loans from programs that deliver little to nothing in the way of employability… If colleges knew there was a chance that degree programs or entire colleges could be cut off from tuition financing, they might actually take steps to reform those programs. Which brings us to another needed higher education reform: accreditation of more competency-based degree programs.” (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 12/2/2015)

SOUND FAMILIAR? RUBIO CALLS FOR EXPANDING ACCESS TO HIGHER ED OUTCOMES DATA: “Rubio focused on student loans and job skills. ‘We need to make it easier for people to become welders and machinists, and it’s important skills that you need in order to have a robust manufacturing sector,’ said Rubio. Rubio also said student loan payments should be easy to manage regardless of your salary. ‘Before anyone takes out a student loan, the school should be required to tell you this is how much people make with a degree from this school with the degree that you’re getting,’ said Rubio.” (WYFF, 12/13/2015)

BUSH’S TWISTED METAPHOR ON FREE COLLEGE: In response to a question about Sanders’ free college tuition proposal, Bush said: “‘I’m glad you brought it up,… Because this notion that earned success in life, that the government can just take care of us, if we keep taking steps down that path, we’re in danger. And it’s insidious, because you don’t see it until it’s over. That’s the problem with this.’ Then, Mr. Bush went for the frog metaphor. And that’s where the problem for him began. ‘It’s like the crabs in the, you know, whatever —the crabs in the boiling water,’ Mr. Bush tried. ‘Frogs,’ an audience member shouted out, helpfully. ‘The frogs,’ Mr. Bush continued. ‘You think it’s warm, and it feels pretty good and then it feels like you’re in a whirlpool—you know, a Jacuzzi or something.’ He concluded with a morbid twist: ‘And then you’re dead. That’s how this works.’” (The New York Times, 11/18/2015)

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, MONNNNAY: “Millennials came of age during a tough economic time: Student debt has reached an all-time high, and the job market is more competitive than ever. As a result, young people today aren’t earning as much money as their parents did when they were young. So how much are they making?… The medians ranged between a low of $18,000 per year in Montana and a high of $43,000 in the District of Columbia. How do you stack up?” (Business Insider, 12/6/2015)

IN PLAY TO MILLENNIALS, HRC DEPLOYS PRES. FITZ FOR IOWA BLITZ: “People in Bettendorf were starstruck when an actor from ABC’s ‘Scandal’ made a political stop in one Quad Cities home. This was one of many stops Tony Goldwyn made in Iowa on Saturday and Sunday, December 12 and 13, 2015. He came to support presidential candidate Hillary Clinton… He focused on key points to Clinton’s political agenda including reducing college debt for students.” (WQAD, 12/13/2015)

FORMER TEENS FOR TED CHAIRMAN ENDORSES… WAIT FOR IT… BERNIE SANDERS: “Two weeks after renouncing the conservative movement, teen Internet phenom CJ Pearson has swung to the opposite side of the political spectrum and is endorsing Bernie Sanders for president. The 13-year-old, whose past attacks on President Barack Obama have gone viral on YouTube, told CNN that he has come to believe Sanders is the best candidate to address racial issues, police brutality and poverty. ‘This election will make a pivotal difference in the future of our nation. If it takes changing your mind to make the right choice as to who should lead our country, I am willing to do it. Screw the optics,’ Pearson, the former chairman of Teens for Ted Cruz, told CNN. ‘My activism is centered around fighting to give young people a voice in their government and in the political arena,’ said Pearson, executive director of Young Georgians of Government. ‘With President Sanders, young people will have that voice. So, in my opinion, I’m doing exactly what I set out to do at the beginning of my political career.’” (CNN, 12/9/2015)

HUCKABEE LECTURES YOUNG PEOPLE WANTING FREE COLLEGE: “All over America I hear young people say, would you tell me what you’re going to do? Would you give me free college? Will you make sure that I can have medical marijuana? You know what we ought to tell young people? We aren’t going to give you anything. We’re give you the opportunity to get off your butt and go serve your country and secure your freedom. Because if you don’t, nobody else is.” (The Washington Post, 12/15/2016)


Perkins Loan Program Would Return From the Dead Under Senate Legislation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Kelly Field