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2016 Millennial Memo (June 24, 2015): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 Millennial Memo (June 24, 2015)

502 days to go…

Happy Wednesday Millennial Memo readers! Here it is — your weekly fix for all things higher education reform and the race for the presidency. If you haven’t already, share Millennial Memo with your colleagues and friends — consider it poolside reading for the Fourth of July holiday.

TRUMP UNIVERSITY THE TARGET OF LAWSUIT BY NY AG: According to Salon’s Alex Mierjeski, “in August 2013, New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced th[at] he was filing a lawsuit against Trump for the dubious promises of his higher education endeavor, Trump University. Schneiderman’s lawsuit alleged that the school’s real estate program, which was unlicensed as an actual university, was complicit in ‘persistent fraudulent, illegal and deceptive conduct’ towards its students, who were often saddled with debt from expensive seminars in lieu of brimming with the promised insider secrets from ‘Donald Trump’s handpicked instructor[s],’ most of whom turned out to have emerged from real estate-derived bankruptcy, or have little background in real estate at all…

Schneiderman claimed that more than 5,000 people paid around $40 million to Trump U, a quarter of which was funneled directly into Trump’s pockets, going against claims that Trump U was founded ‘solely for philanthropic purposes’–Trump netted around $5 million in profit, according to the suit.”

HILLARY TAKES AIM AT FOR-PROFIT LOOPHOLE: TIME’s Sam Frizell reports that while at a Reno, Nevada VFW branch last week, “Clinton announced a new plan intended to stop for-profit colleges from fleecing veterans who use federal G.I. Bill funds to attend school… Clinton focused her remarks on the 90-10 rule. The rule requires for-profit colleges to accept at least 10% of their money from private dollars rather than federal financial aid and loans, with the idea of holding the schools more accountable to the open market. But an unintended loophole in the 90-10 rule means that federal military benefits like the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill can count toward schools’ 10%. That leads for-profit schools to aggressively target veterans in search of federal dollars, often deceptively.”

GET SMART QUICK: Inside Higher Ed’s Michael Stratford dissects candidates’ and advocates’ debt-free college plans by idea and pay-for.

CARSON CALLS FOR REGULATING AND WITHHOLDING FUNDS FROM POLITICALLY BIASED UNIVERSITIES: BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski notes that in an interview with Las Vegas radio personality Heidi Harris, Dr. Ben Carson said: “I think the Department of Education should monitor institutions of higher education for political bias and withhold federal funding if it exists… I would change the function of the Department of Education. I know a lot of compatriots want to eliminate it altogether but I think that might be a mistake given the fact we’re pretty far behind, particularly in the STEM area. So we need to concentrate on that. We need to use technology to help us.”

WHAT WE ALREADY KNEW: “In the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll, nearly three-in-10 young people who define themselves as just starting out cited paying [off] student loans as their biggest financial challenge; that tied with saving up enough money for major expenditures such as buying a home was their top concern.” (The Atlantic, June 20, 2015)

STUDENT DEBT QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Asked whether student loan debt was a bubble waiting to burst, Trump said, ‘The country is a big fat bubble run by incompetent people, and it’s ready to burst.'” (Washington Post, June 17, 2015)

TOP-ED OF THE WEEK:  AEI’s Andrew Kelly writing for National Review Online: “Many on the right, myself included, have argued that furnishing better data on costs, debt, and student outcomes such as wages and loan repayment is a critical step in helping students and families ‘vote with their feet.’ Right now, colleges can lure students with expensive amenities and gauzy promises of what awaits them after graduation, and students can’t tell fact from fiction. As a result, student choices don’t reward schools that are affordable and effective and they don’t punish the pretenders. Instead, they prop up firms that would never pass the market test… Transparency doesn’t only aid consumers; it can also inform policymakers and taxpayers.”

(EXCLUSIVE) MEASURING UP MILLENNIALS: A new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll of 1,000 adults conducted by Hart Research and Public Opinion Strategies from June 14-18, 2015 found Secretary Clinton leading her Republican rivals. An analysis provided exclusively for Millennial Memo from Hart Research confirms that strong support from Millennials could be vital for Clinton to retain leads over her Republican challengers.

  • While Clinton leads Bush among all voters 48-40, she leads Bush among 18-34 year-olds by 58-28;
  • While Clinton leads Rubio among all voters 50-40, she leads Rubio among 18-34 year-olds by 57-30;
  • While Clinton leads Walker among all voters 51-37, she leads Walker among 18-34 year-olds by 57-28.


Student Loan Numbers Hillary Clinton Should Memorize, National Journal, Sophie Quinton

Why Colleges Should Admit More Ex-Felons, The Washington Post, Keri Blakinger

Rising Tuition Means Falling Diversity on Campus, The Hechinger Report, Jon Marcus

Congress Takes Another Stab at Undercutting Gainful Employment Rules Two Weeks Before Implementation, The Consumerist, Ashlee Kieler

Student Loan Debt Is a Big — And Growing — Problem for Retirees, NBC News, Sharon Epperson

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