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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (October 21, 2015): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (October 21, 2015)

383 days to go…

Happy hump day, folks! With a possible Biden entry and Webb out of the Democratic Primary, the race for the White House is more erratic than ever. Don’t let that be an excuse to miss this week’s important student debt and higher education updates from the trail. Share this week’s Millennial Memo with your colleagues and friends, and sign up for updates here.

GALLUP FINDS ONE IN FIVE RECENT COLLEGE GRADS WITH STUDENT LOANS DELAY STARTING A BUSINESS BECAUSE OF STUDENT DEBT: “Among those who graduated between 2006 and 2015, 63% left college with some amount of student loan debt. Of those, 19% say they have delayed starting a business because of their loan debt. That percentage rises to 25% for graduates who left with more than $25,000 in student loan debt. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 16.9 million bachelor’s degrees were conferred in the U.S. over the past 10 years — a time frame that mirrors Gallup-Purdue Index analysis of recent graduates between 2006 and 2015. This translates to more than 2 million graduates saying they have delayed starting a business because of their student loan debt. If even a quarter of them had done so, we would quickly recoup our average surplus of 120,000 new businesses annually.” (Gallup, 10/14/2015)

TRUMP PLANS STUDENT LOAN POLICY PROPOSAL ROLLOUT: “‘I do great with the younger voters,’ [Trump] boasted. ‘We have a lot of young people going to the events — millennials being defined as young… I don’t [know] what else to say — there’s something out there. You see it with the crowds.’ Trump reiterated that he’s planning to unveil a student loan proposal, though he wouldn’t give a concrete timeline.” (The Hill, 10/18/2015)

BUSH SAYS HE DOESN’T HAVE SYMPATHY FOR INDEBTED STUDENTS THAT TOOK LONGER TO GRADUATE BECAUSE IT ONLY TOOK HIM 2 YEARS, DESPITE WORKING: When questioned about how he would make college more affordable at a recent Concord, NH town hall, Bush said: “we measure degree completion in this country for public universities with full time equivalent students we measure a four-year degree in six years. Why don’t we call it a six-year degree. This is ridiculous! Full time equivalent students by the way credits mean 12 credit hours. Now I don’t have a lot of sympathy for this because I graduated in two years and I worked… But you can graduate and work. Think about it, 18 hours — that would be a big load for college. You couldn’t get those credits in many schools because professors don’t teach the same way they might have back in the past. But 18 hours, but assume just for a moment that you studied an hour for every hour that you took. I don’t remember that in my case, but maybe I did. So you’re up to 36 hours. I don’t ever remember in my adult life working less than 36 hours any week since 21 years-old. This is ludicrous to tell a 21 year-old kid or an 18 or 19 year-old kid that they can’t do more than what they are being told they can do now. We should get four-year degrees done in four-years. You want to save money for student loans? Get the throughput faster so that students can graduate at a faster rate.” (C-Span, October 14, 2015)

BUSH TOUTS FLORIDA’S MERIT-BASED SCHOLARSHIP AND OUTCOMES ACCOUNTABILITY PROGRAMS: Governor Bush continued, “first, let me give you the good news if you have any children in Florida, in-state Florida students have the lowest tuition of any state in the United States. And it’s because we have two things. We have a Bright Futures program that is merit-based and any person that has a GPA of X and an SAT of Y gets a full ride… Now you still have to pay the out of pocket costs. That, plus we put a cap on tuition. And now, we started it, but it’s been enhanced dramatically under Governor Scott, we now have a system where schools are measured on outcomes. Universities actually have to produce what they expect them to.” (C-Span, October 14, 2015)

EXPERTS HAVE QUESTIONED FLORIDA’S MERIT-BASED AID PROGRAM: “As higher education expert Sandy Baum recently presented to the Florida House Appropriations committee, state aid should be targeted to students ‘whose behaviors and outcomes will change.’ A growing body of research, including a study directly measuring the [Florida Student Assistance Grant] itself, suggests that need-based grants are the most effective method to improve access and success for underserved students, while merit-based aid fails to do so because it goes disproportionately to wealthier families.” (The Case for Need-Based Aid, 3/3/2015)

THE PROS OF WORKING WHILE IN COLLEGE: “79 percent of undergraduates in 2007-2008 worked while they were enrolled… Research shows that ‘students who work a modest number of hours per week (10 to 15 hours), on campus, are more likely than other students—even students who do not work at all—to persist and earn degrees,’ notes Professor Laura Perna of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education… Debbie Kaylor, director of the Boise State University Career Center, believes that one of the best things a college job provides is ‘an opportunity to develop professional skills that employers will be expecting upon graduation. When employers recruit new college grads, they are not only looking for a major, but they are looking for a skillset.’ Kaylor notes that ‘any on-campus job can provide [students] with the opportunity to learn professional skills such as communication (verbal and written), teamwork, time management, [and] customer service’ while also providing opportunities to ‘build a professional network.’” (US News & World Report, 9/13/2012)

THE CONS OF WORKING WHILE IN COLLEGE: “One downside to working in college, however, is the potential for students to work so much that their jobs interfere with their college goals and academic progress. UPenn’s Perna explains that ‘working a higher number of hours, especially when the employment is off campus, increases time to [a] degree and reduces the likelihood of completing a degree.’ Kaylor has noticed the same trend in the students she helps find jobs during their time in school. ‘I think working around 15 hours a week is ideal,’ she says. ‘This allows students to have lots of time for academics and studying as well as other extracurricular activities.’” (US News & World Report, 9/13/2012)

GET SMART FAST: Vox’s Libby Nelson breaks down the fundamental policy and messaging differences between the Clinton and Sanders camps on higher education.

CARSON SEES VALUE IN FREE HIGHER EDUCATION IN EUROPE: When asked about some of his past writings by George Stephanopoulos, Dr. Ben Carson said, “one of the things that happens, for instance, in Europe, for medical school, is that you don’t have to pay for it. And, as a result, they don’t have the skew that we have here. A lot of people, when they finish medical school, they’re hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. And instead of, you know, doing what they may have wanted to do, which was maybe be a private — a primary care doctor, they decide that I’d better become, you know, one of the specialists that makes a lot more money so I can pay this money back. That’s not an issue in Europe.” (Austin American-Statesman, 10/20/2015)

MEASURING UP MILLENNIALS: “Millennials are feeling the Bern, according to the latest results from a national NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll of Democrats out Friday. Hillary Clinton still leads Bernie Sanders 45 percent to 31 percent, essentially unchanged from last month’s survey. But among those born between roughly 1985 and 1997, 54 percent back the democratic socialist senator from Vermont. Just 26 percent supported Clinton, down from 34 percent in September and 36 percent in August.” (Politico, 10/16/2015)

KASICH ENCOURAGES STUDENTS TO GO TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND GET COLLEGE CREDIT WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL AS MEANS TO REDUCE STUDENT DEBT: When asked by a Nashua Community College student what specific plans he has to lower overall student debt in the United States, Kasich said, “I think first of all you’ve got to stop the cost driver. Secondly, now that you’re in community college,.. you’ve already cut your costs… because you’re here where it’s less expensive than in the four-year. So for some people, that’s right… I also think in high school you ought to be able to get college credit.” (C-Span, 10/15/2015)

KASICH QUESTIONED ON OBAMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE PLAN; SELLS COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY CONSULTANT CONCEPT HE IMPLEMENTED IN OHIO: When asked about whether he supports President Obama’s free two-year community college plan, Governor Kasich said, “After you give everybody free college, we can put a chicken in every pot. We have to pay for things. Would you like a new car? I can’t just give you one for free. But here’s the thing. We have to learn how to control the cost of higher education… That means sometime you have to aggravate the faculty… to take costs out. In Ohio now, we just had a group of business people come in with a series of about 25 recommendations to reduce costs… We need to scour everything to reduce costs, because if these costs keep rising, students are just going to go to online education at a fraction of the cost, and it’s going to become more creative… When you enter this school, you ought to have someone who virtually guides you every week. What do you wanna be? What do you wanna do? What courses are you taking? Are you on track? And I’m here to be your helper. And we’ve got to know what the in-demand jobs are so that we are not out there getting an education for basket weaving when there are no more basket weaving jobs anymore. The other thing is, I don’t believe that universities or community colleges should be paid one dime for overhead. They should be reimbursed by government when a student completes a course or graduates. Anything short of that will result in high costs.” (C-Span, 10/15/2015)

UC-BOULDER STUDENTS PROTEST LACK OF INCLUSION IN UPCOMING GOP DEBATE: “Debate organizers are allowing about 1,000 audience members. The university received 100 tickets, at least half of which will go to students. To Mr. Estevez-Miller and many other students here, that is not nearly enough. ‘It feels like a sham, and that the students are being used as a marketing opportunity,’ Mr. Estevez-Miller said one recent afternoon as he and a web-television crew scouted locations for a debate-night forum featuring student hosts and panelists. ‘We want to participate. We want our voices to matter.’ Around the 31,000-student campus, that frustration is echoing in letters to the editor, an online petition and a resolution by the student government.” (The New York Times, 10/19/2015)


Is this the beginning of the end for ITT?, The Washington Post, Danielle Douglas-Gabriel

Upping the Pressure on Accreditors, Inside Higher Ed, Michael Stratford