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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (July 7, 2016): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (July 7, 2016)

Welcome to this special Thursday edition of Millennial Memo! I hope everyone had a great 4th. We’re just 10 days until Cleveland, 17 days until Philly, and 123 days until Election Day. Get the latest on all things Millennials & 2016 by signing up for updates here.

CLINTON UNVEILS CHANGES TO NEW COLLEGE COMPACT, CALLS FOR FREE TUITION FOR WORKING FAMILIES & 3-MONTH LOAN REPAYMENT MORATORIUM: “Clinton is significantly broadening a proposal to offer debt-free college to more students as part of an effort to appeal to young voters, including many who supported rival Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries. Clinton would eliminate college tuition for working families under the proposal she is announcing Wednesday. The new proposal borrows a key principle from the Sanders college plan, but it stops short of the free-college-for-all plan he offered to great acclaim from young supporters… The original cost of Clinton’s college plan — which she said aims to help students “drowning in debt caused by ever-rising college costs” — was $350 billion over 10 years. A Clinton aide said the expansion will raise the cost by more than $100 billion. Any such plan would require congressional approval… The Clinton plan would ensure that families with income below a certain level will pay no tuition at in-state public colleges and universities, according to her campaign. The plan ultimately would cover more than 8 in 10 families. The expansion of the tuition plan would be introduced on a sliding scale: At the start, students from families making $85,000 a year or less could attend a four-year public college or university tuition-free. The income threshold will increase by $10,000 a year every year over the next four years, the campaign said, meaning that by 2021 all students with a family income of $125,000 or less could pay no tuition. Clinton is also proposing a three-month moratorium on the repayment of federal student debt immediately upon taking office. And she is proposing that federal aid called Pell grants be available to students year-round instead of only during the school year.” (The Washington Post, 7/6/2015)

SANDERS RESPONDS TO CLINTON’S UPDATED “NEW COLLEGE COMPACT: “I want to take this opportunity to applaud Secretary Clinton for the very bold initiative she has just brought forth today for the financing of higher education. This proposal combines some of the strongest ideas she fought for during the campaign with some of the principles that I fought for. The final product is a result of the work of both campaigns. Let me be very clear. This proposal, when implemented, will revolutionize the funding of higher education in America, improve the economic future of our country and make life immediately better for tens of millions of people stuck with high levels of student debt. This proposed legislation will provide free tuition at public colleges and universities for all families in America earning $125,000 a year or less – 83 percent of our families. In other words, the dream of higher education in America will become a reality for all, regardless of the income of one’s family. This proposal will also provide very substantial relief for students and families carrying student debt… I thank Secretary Clinton for introducing this proposal which, in my view, will have a profound impact on the future of our country.” (Bernie 2016, July 6, 2016)

DEMOCRATIC PARTY RELEASES PLATFORM DRAFT, INCLUDES PRIORITIES FOR HIGHER EDUCATION: “The Democratic Party released a draft version of its proposed party platform late Friday afternoon. The platform won’t be finalized until the Platform Committee meets [July 8th and 9th], followed by a vote at the party’s convention in Philadelphia, but it’s a good guidepost for what will make it into the final version.” The draft platform is available below. (Mother Jones, July 1, 2016)
Higher Education
Democrats believe that if you are an American who wants to get an education, you should always be able to get one: money should never stand in the way. Cost should not be a barrier to getting a degree or credential, and debt should not hold you back after you graduate. Bold new investments by the federal government, coupled with states reinvesting in higher education and colleges holding the line on costs, will ensure that Americans of all backgrounds will be prepared for the jobs and economy of the future. We will make community college free, while ensuring the strength of our historically minority-serving institutions. Achieving these goals depends on state and federal investment in both students and their teachers. Whether full-time or adjunct, faculty must be supported to make transformative educational experiences possible. As we make college affordable for future students, we will not forget about the millions of borrowers who need help with their debt right now.
Student Debt
Democrats will allow those who currently have student debt to refinance their loans at the lowest rates possible. We will simplify and expand access to income-based repayment so that no student loan borrowers ever have to pay more than they can afford. And we will significantly cut interest rates for future undergraduates, thereby preventing the federal government from making billions of dollars in profit from student loans. Democrats will also fight for a Student Borrower Bill of Rights to ensure borrowers get adequate information about options to avoid or get out of delinquency or default. We will hold lenders and loan servicers to high standards to help borrowers in default rehabilitate and repay their debts. Finally, Democrats will restore the prior standard in bankruptcy law to allow borrowers with student loans discharge their debts in bankruptcy as a measure of last resort.
Minority-Serving Institutions
We will strengthen our nation’s public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions, and other minority-serving institutions by providing a dedicated fund of tens of billions of dollars to keep costs down, provide a quality education, and provide dedicated support to improve student outcomes and completion rates. These schools play an important role in building opportunity and creating a diverse workforce.
For-Profit Schools
Donald Trump ran a fake university—the now bankrupt Trump “University”—that scammed many out of their hard-earned savings and led to no degree and no obvious benefit to their education or economic prosperity. Democrats will not tolerate this type of fraud. We will also continue to crack down on for-profit schools that take millions in federal financial aid—often as their principal source of revenue—and then exploit students and burden them with debt rather than educating them. That is why we will strengthen the gainful employment rule to ensure that for-profit schools enable students to complete their degrees and prepare them for work. We will go after for-profits that engage in deceptive marketing, fraud, and other illegal practices. It is not right that for-profit schools with low graduation rates keep encouraging their students to take out federal loans they will have trouble paying back.”

FORMER CORINTHIAN STUDENTS RECEIVE $171 MILLION IN DEBT FORGIVENESS: “The Obama administration has agreed to forgive $171 million in student debt held by former students of the defunct Corinthian Colleges Inc., the toll of a for-profit school boom that is likely to grow as the government continues to investigate schools accused of fraud. The report released Wednesday by the Education Department provides the most detailed accounting yet of the taxpayer cost of the collapse of Corinthian, once among the nation’s largest for-profit college chains. The company liquidated in bankruptcy last year amid federal and state allegations that it advertised fraudulent statistics about the career success of its graduates. Corinthian had denied wrongdoing.” (The Wall Street Journal, June, 29, 2016)

CLINTON PITCHES STUDENT DEBT REFORMS AT YOUTUBE CREATORS TOWN HALL: Clinton’s remarks begin at 6:21 here.

TRUMP CRITICIZES CLINTON’S PLAN TO GRANT GREEN CARD STATUS TO STEM DEGREE SEEKERS:

GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE JILL STEIN PLEDGES TO CANCEL STUDENT DEBT IN NEW CAMPAIGN VIDEO: Watch the video here. In the video, Stein says: “We will bail out millennials and others in student debt… We did it for the crooks on Wall Street, it’s about time to do it for the millennials and the generation held hostage in debt.”

MEASURING UP MILLENNIALS: “While Johnson has been polling nationally at about 10 percent, he is performing particularly well among millennial voters, reports Politico. About 22 percent of millennial voters, and 25 percent of white millennials, chose Johnson in a three-way matchup with Trump and Hillary Clinton, according to a poll from the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.” (The Plain Dealer, July 5, 2016)

VEEP WATCH

KAINE CO-INTRODUCES BILL TO HELP STUDENTS UNDERSTAND COLLEGE FINANCING: “A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday looks to give students who are borrowing for college a better understanding of federal financial aid. The Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act, introduced in part by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), would give student and parent borrowers more interactive, online counseling tailored to their individual financial situations. ‘[The bill] would provide reinforcement for the student to see how much they’ve borrowed thus far, what the expected monthly repayment on that would be under different repayment plan options,’ said Scott Morrison, the financial aid director at Bridgewater College. ‘That would be helpful.’” View the full bill here. (WHSV, June 30, 2016)

WARREN DISSATISFIED WITH CANDIDATES FOR FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN SERVICING CONTRACTS:
(Source: Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Facebook account)

SENATE SPECIAL

NEVADA–ONE NATION AD TOUTS HECK’S SUPPORT FOR WIOA & INCREASING FUNDING FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL ED: Watch the ad here.

NEW HAMPSHIRE–NEW HASSAN AD TOUTS RECORD ON TUITION: Watch the ad here.

NORTH CAROLINA–IN NEW FB POST, BURR TOUTS IMPACT OF 2013 INTEREST RATE DEAL:
(Source: Sen. Richard Burr’s Twitter account)