Automatic Group Student Loan Relief Offered to Defrauded Borrowers

January 13, 2017
CONTACT: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

[Washington, D.C.] - The Department of Education announced today that federal student loan borrowers at the defunct American Career Institute in Massachusetts are eligible for automatic group discharge of their federal student loans under the recently finalized borrower defense rule. Investigations by the Department of Education and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, combined with admissions of wrongdoing by ACI, demonstrated that the school misled and deceived students, employed unauthorized instructors, and exaggerated its job placement rates.

“The decision to grant automatic group discharge lifts a huge weight off the shoulders of students who were deceived,” said Reid Setzer, Deputy Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for Young Invincibles. “Discharging loans used to attend fraudulent institutions is exactly what the Department should do in cases like these. The Department has made sure that these defrauded borrowers can get back on track, without having to go through complex and confusing processes that can prevent them from obtaining relief. We hope the Department will continue to protect students from predatory actors and help restore the financial security of students whenever fraud has been found, so they can continue to pursue their educations.”

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Young Invincibles’ Statement on NY Governor Cuomo’s Announcement of Tuition Free Plan


January 3rd, 2016

CONTACT: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

[New York] – Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Excelsior Scholarship program to provide free tuition to roughly 940,000 New York State residents who make less than $125,000 and attend a SUNY or CUNY school full-time.

Kevin Stump, Northeast Director of Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:

“After years of tuition hikes and structural disinvestment to New York State’s two public university systems, students are excited that increased state resources are going to help them access more affordable public higher education. This is a positive step forward, and we’re hopeful that this commitment to investing in the education of young adults will be extended to even more students, including part-time and immigrant students.

We look forward to continuing the conversation with the Governor and the legislature to ensure that, in addition to covering tuition costs, resources are available to help students who are struggling to pay for other expenses associated with earning degree such as child care, housing, transportation, and more. Non-tuition expenses make up the majority of the full cost of attending 4-year and 2-year public institutions.

It is critical that any proposal to make tuition free comes with a commitment from state lawmakers to also fully fund CUNY and SUNY so they can provide the high quality public higher education New Yorkers need to succeed in our workforce.”

Young Invincibles is a Steering Committee member of the CUNY Rising Alliance.

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New Regulations Imposed on ITT Technical Institute Help Protect Students from Dubious Practices

Friday, August 26th, 2016

CONTACT: Nina Smith,, 301-717-9006

Yesterday, the Department of Education used its power to impose new regulations and financial oversight on ITT Technical Institute  (ITT Tech), including prohibiting the chain of schools from enrolling additional students who use federal financial aid to finance their education. Christopher Nellum, Policy Director of Young Invincibles issued the following statement:

“The move by the Department of Education continues steady progress toward protecting students from predatory, for-profit institutions like ITT Tech and Corinthian Colleges. The Department’s decision will help  ensure that hardworking and committed students, who invest significantly in order to attend college, will no longer be harmed by deceptive practices. We commend the decision to prevent ITT from enrolling additional students with taxpayer dollars, and we are hopeful that students currently enrolled will have strong academic and financial options moving forward.”


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Young Invincibles, Assem. Weber, Students and Advocates Hail Final Passage of Campus Hunger Bill


August 23, 2016

Contact: Nina Smith, nina.smith@younginvincibles.org301-717-9006

Young Invincibles, Assem.Weber and Advocates Hail Final Passage of Campus Hunger Bill 

The measure would ensure greater access to food resources for vulnerable students on California college campuses

SACRAMENTO, CA — Young Invincibles joined Assem. Weber (D-San Diego), students and fellow activists in hailing final passage of AB 1747 out of the California state legislature. If signed into law, the measure would eliminate bureaucratic barriers that prevent the Golden State’s most vulnerable students from accessing food resources on its college campuses. It now heads to Governor Brown for his signature.

“We are very pleased AB 1747 has achieved successful passage with strong support. AB 1747 allows the state to take a few small steps to reduce hunger and increase college completion for thousands of  California students,” said Gustavo Herrera, Western Director of Young Invincibles, a Millennial research and advocacy group leading organizing efforts for AB 1747. “We know that hunger and economic deprivation result in higher dropout rates for our most vulnerable students. By maximizing federal food assistance received and spent in California through AB 1747, we can not only ensure more students can access college, but also ensure they complete their degrees. We urge Governor Brown to sign this common-sense measure into law.”

“Nearly a quarter of students in the CSU system and nearly 20 percent of UC students are facing food insecurity,” Assem.Weber, AB 1747’s lead legislative sponsor said. “California should be finding solutions to support low-income college students, reduce hardships, and remove economic barriers to graduation. While some campuses are stepping up to address food insecurity and homelessness, many are not. AB 1747 is a vital step in connecting students with available resources to help improve campus climate and a student’s overall academic success.”

Frequently, students who’ve overcome significant challenges to attend college go hungry when they come to campus. For them, CalFresh, California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), has proven difficult to access. AB 1747 would address challenges students face accessing CalFresh, which provides federally funded food benefits for low-income Californians. Newly implemented state laws (AB 1930, Chaptered Bills of 2014) reduce barriers to application for CalFresh for low-income college students, but many students still don’t know about the rule change or how to apply.

“Vulnerable students who have made it to college are among California’s best and brightest students, and they shouldn’t be undermined by the indignity of hunger,” said Jessica Bartholow, policy advocate for Western Center on Law and Poverty, a co-sponsor of the bill. “AB 1747 takes meaningful steps toward protecting these college students from hunger and state investments in their education.”

Today’s legislative action is welcome news for current and former students for whom this issue is all too familiar. One advocate added, “I am shocked that almost 20 years later, food insecurity is still a major obstacle in beginning, thriving and completing one’s education,” said Kathleen Selke, an advocate working with Young Invincibles. “And with tuition and fees at both 4-year and 2-year institutions having risen 28 percent since the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis,  I fear for future students, including my four younger siblings who have yet to complete school as my experience discouraged them from going to college. With college tuition costing so much, something has to give and it shouldn’t be students’ health.  I am pleased to see our state’s lawmakers recognize the need for AB1747 and have taken action to ensure that we make providing students with the basic support they need while completing their degrees, such as access to affordable food, a priority.”

Should AB 1747 be signed into law, it would establish a fund to support partnerships between food banks and on-campus food kitchens and allow local partnerships to improve on-campus pantry food safety and increase the amount of food available. It would also allow for more information about on-campus pantries and will help the California Department of Social Services better serve low-income college students most at risk of dropping out of school.

California colleges have already taken steps to understand the growing student hunger crisis on campus. Senate passage follows the release of data pointing to a growing hunger crisis on California college campuses. According to a Cal State study released this year, one in four students go hungry on the system’s campuses. Another survey from the University of California Student Association found that 19 percent of UC students indicated they had “very low” food security. As a result of the survey, UC’s President Janet Napolitano approved $3.3 million in new funding over the next two years to help students access food on and off campus.



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Young Invincibles: Damaging House Labor-H Bill Passes Appropriations Committee


Thursday, July 14, 2016

CONTACT: Nina Smith, nina.smith@younginvincibles.org301-717-9006

Damaging House Labor-H Bill Passes Appropriations Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House Appropriations Committee today passed the FY 2017 Labor-H Appropriations bill via a nearly party-line vote, which would cut Pell Grants and restrict the Department of Education’s ability to protect students from predatory education providers. It would completely eliminate funding for apprenticeships, child care for student parents, and health care access for millions of young adults.

Rory O’Sullivan, deputy director of Young Invincibles stated the following:

“The House Labor-H appropriations bill passed out of committee today ignores the barriers to opportunity facing millions of young people across the country. Slashing funding for education and child care could prevent young adults from establishing lasting careers, caring for their families, and boosting their earning potential with a college degree. At a time when our generation could become the first in American history worse off than our parents, this bill would put economic security further out of reach for millions.

The cuts in this bill are expansive.  Pell Grants would lose $1.3 billion, limiting access to college for eight million students seeking a postsecondary credential. The bill would zero-out funding for on-campus childcare essential for young parents seeking a degree – something that has enjoyed longstanding bipartisan support. It would also expose vulnerable students to deceptive, high-debt education providers with an outright repeal of the Gainful Employment rule.

Even as youth unemployment remains 40 percent above the national average, this bill eliminates already meager funding to support businesses hoping to establish and expand apprenticeship training programs that lead to well-paid jobs and productive employees. Finally, the bill would defund aspects of the ACA critical to ensuring health care access for millions of young people.

Students and working families count on these resources to make a better life for themselves and for their families. We commend Members of the Committee who stood up in support of smart investments that help Americans achieve economic security.  And we remain hopeful that Congress can find common ground that ensures access to a quality, affordable higher education, health care coverage for millions of young adults, and alternative pathways to essential workforce credentials in future spending agreements.”


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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (July 14, 2016): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (July 14, 2016)

Good Thursday morning, ladies and gents! Grab the popcorn and set the DVR: we’ve got 2 veep announcements on the way, the RNC in Cleveland next week, and the Democrats’ big celebration scheduled just a week later in Philly. Please share this week’s memo, and encourage your colleagues and friends to keep up to date with the latest on all things Millennials and 2016 by signing up for updates here.

MEASURING UP MILLENNIALS: “Just 26 percent of young whites and 49 percent of Hispanics have a positive opinion of the former secretary of state. The first-of-its-kind poll pays special attention to the voices of young adults of color, highlighting how race and ethnicity shape the opinions of the country’s most diverse generation. The survey polled all young adults, not necessarily registered or likely voters, but the findings suggest Clinton may struggle to turn out people 18 to 30 to support her candidacy. The GenForward poll found that among those who preferred Sanders in the primaries, only half are prepared to say they’ll back Clinton in her general election face-off with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. About a quarter say they won’t support Clinton, and nearly a quarter say they’re not sure. Clinton has made moves in recent days to attract some of Sanders’ loyal young supporters, including unveiling a college affordability plan that would make in-state tuition free for families making $125,000 or less per year. Clinton spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said the candidate ‘believes we must do everything we can to make sure that millennial voters have their voice heard in our campaign.’” (Associated Press, July 12, 2016)

SIREN: “Clinton’s campaign may not simply be able to count on young voters seeing her as the lesser of two evils in a race against Trump. Seven in 10 young voters — including majorities of blacks, whites, Asians and Hispanics — say they are unsatisfied with the race between Clinton and Trump and want the option of a third party candidate.” (Associated Press, July 12, 2016)

SANDERS’ CLINTON ENDORSEMENT MAY SWAY MILLENNIAL VOTERS: “The lingering chasm between presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her chief primary rival was bridged Tuesday, with Sen. Bernie Sanders teaming up with Clinton at a campaign event, where he formally endorsed Clinton’s bid for the White House. Clinton’s appearance alongside Sanders could do a lot to assuage his supporters who may remain on the fence about supporting her candidacy, especially among young voters. Democrats head to their party convention in Philadelphia, where Clinton will be formally nominated later this month.” (NPR, June 12, 2016)

JOHNSON SAYS HE WOULD LOOK AT LOWERING INTEREST RATES ON STUDENT LOANS: In an interview with Politico’s Glenn Thrush last month, Libertarian party presidential nominee Gary Johnson said of Sanders: “Well, what he’s right about is that students have been sold a bill of goods, so as president of the United States, at the end of the day, I get to either sign or veto legislation that Congress sends me, I would really take a hard look at how students might, I don’t know, receive some sort of benefit or reduced interest rate. I mean, if we can–if the Federal Reserve can bail out all the big banks, it seems to me that we might arrange lower interest rates for these loans to get paid back.”

WHO IS CURRENTLY GRADUATING DEBT-FREE?: A new report out from Demos analyzes demographic trends for exactly who is and who is not graduating with student debt. The results are alarming. Check it out here.

28 PERCENT OF STUDENT DEBTORS DO NOT COMPLETE THEIR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS: “About 28% of Americans with student debt didn’t complete the educational program for which they took on the loans, according to the 2016 National Financial Capability Study published Tuesday by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The study adds to the growing body of evidence that the borrowers who struggle the most with student loan debt aren’t necessarily those with the largest balances. Instead, borrowers who don’t complete their degrees often find it challenging to repay their loans — even if they’re relatively small — likely because they didn’t earn the credential that would give them an earnings boost in the labor market… More than half of the borrowers who didn’t finish their schooling said they were late at least once on a student loan payment, compared with 38% of borrowers who did finish their education, Finra found. Roughly two-thirds of borrowers who had that experience said they would change the way they approached borrowing if given the chance to do it again, compared with 54% of borrowers who finished school. Americans earning $25,000 or less were also more likely to report borrowing without completing than their wealthier counterparts.” (Marketwatch, July 12, 2016)


PCCC SAYS MORE SENATE CANDIDATES HAVE JOINED CALL FOR DEBT-FREE COLLEGE: “Senator Bernie Sanders has at last enthusiastically endorsed Hillary Clinton. Now Democratic Senate candidates are rallying around the push to ease college debt that Mrs. Clinton embraced last week to show Sanders supporters that she had adopted some of his political and policy ideals. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee says that multiple candidates in top-tier Senate races are jointly endorsing the debt-free concept, which could eventually provide free in-state tuition to eligible students. The move suggests that the program to try to ease student debt is going to be a central element of the national Democratic argument for a Senate majority. ‘We have to fight to ensure that graduates of public colleges and universities are able to begin their career without this growing burden,’ said Patty Judge, the Democratic opponent to Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa. Other Democratic Senate contenders now backing the approach, according to the progressive organization, include Russ Feingold in Wisconsin; Kamala Harris in California; Gov. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, who is seeking a Senate seat; and Deborah Ross in North Carolina. Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Michael Bennet of Colorado, who are both seeking re-election, have also lent their support.” (The New York Times, 7/13/2016)

NEVADA–TWO HECK-BACKED BILLS DESIGNED TO EXPAND COLLEGE ACCESS PASS THE HOUSE: “Two bills were backed by U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., that aim to make college more accessible were passed by the House of Representatives on Monday. One proposal aims to help minority students pursue medical school by making it easier for so-called Hispanic-Serving Institutions — or colleges with large Hispanic populations — to get federal money for programs to help college students transfer to health care degree programs. That bill would also make it easier for Hispanic-Serving Institutions to receive federal money to partner with local school districts to start or boost early college high school programs. The second bill seeks to make it easier for college students to apply for federal financial assistance using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. Monday’s vote comes days after another education bill sponsored by Heck cleared the House floor. That proposal aims to boost career and technical education funding for Nevada.” (Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 11, 2016)

WISCONSIN–FEINGOLD HITS JOHNSON’S RECORD ON HIGHER EDUCATION: The Feingold campaign released a new campaign ad called “Studying” this week. The ad covers Senator Johnson’s comments about young people’s motivations for going to college, support for eliminating federal student loans, and his vote against allowing federal loan borrowers to refinance their loans. Watch the ad here.


(Source: Deborah Ross’s Facebook account)

CALIFORNIA–SANCHEZ RECALLS PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IN ROUNDTABLE WITH COLLEGE STUDENTS: “Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Orange) was back in California on Tuesday, holding a roundtable discussion with recent graduates and other people to discuss education policy. Sanchez noted that she relied on federal and state education grants when she attended college, and was enrolled as a toddler in the early childhood education program Head Start. Sanchez listened as recent graduates, a fifth-grade teacher and a grandfather of 13 shared their concerns about the cost of education. Sanchez touted college affordability proposals she’s supported, including one to nearly double the amount of Pell grants available and another that would allow students to refinance student debt at lower interest rates. ‘Back in Washington, you’re dealing in the millions and the billions…so my colleagues, they don’t see that $30,000, that’s a big amount,’ Sanchez told the group.” (LA Times, June 30, 2016)

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Young Invincibles Applauds Bipartisan House Passage of FAFSA Simplification


Monday, July 11, 2016

CONTACT: Nina Smith,, 301-717-9006

Young Invincibles Applauds Bipartisan House Passage of FAFSA Simplification

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House passed HR 5528, the Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act, a bill designed to enable students and families fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) more easily. The bill codifies recent changes to the FAFSA that allow students and families to use older tax data to fill out the form. This fix will provide families with more automatic responses using pre-existing data and limit delays that prevent filling out the form, resulting in more students and families receiving the aid they need to afford postsecondary education. Accepting older tax data to simplify and streamline the application process is a vital piece of Young Invincibles’ higher education reform agenda.

“The FAFSA is the gateway to critical financial resources for students and families, but far too often confusing forms prevent hardworking students from accessing college. Up to two million more students could receive financial aid if we enshrine changes to the FAFSA,” said Reid Setzer, Young Invincibles’ Deputy Director of Policy & Legislative Affairs. “We’re pleased to see bipartisan support for improving access to federal financial aid for students and families. The Obama Administration and House of Representatives deserve credit for standing up for students and we urge the Senate to pass the bill this year. We also look forward to seeing Rep. Scott’s FAFSA simplification proposal later this week that aims to further streamline the FAFSA process.”


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Young Invincibles: House Labor-H Bill Threatens Higher Education Access For Hardworking Students and Families


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

CONTACT: Nina Smith,, 301-717-9006

House Labor-H Bill Threatens Higher Education Access For Hardworking Students and Families 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the House Appropriations Committee released their version of the FY 2017 Labor-H Appropriations bill, which includes regressive cuts to Pell and provisions that restrict the Department of Education’s ability to regulate higher education institutions.

Rory O’Sullivan, deputy director of Young Invincibles, said the following:

“At a time when tuition and student debt levels are exploding, the House version of the Labor-H appropriations bill released today slashes financial aid for hardworking students across the country. Taking $1.3 billion from Pell Grants threatens to make college less affordable for over eight million low- and moderate-income individuals. Worse still, the bill strips out critical protections that ensure minimum educational outcomes for students attending career colleges. Finally, the bill cuts $100 million from apprenticeships expansion efforts, an essential tool to modernize our workforce and ensure young people have the skills to achieve successful careers. Now more than ever, our generation needs effective education and training beyond high school to achieve economic security and this bill would make those opportunities harder to reach.

We’re disappointed in the current bill, but we remain hopeful that during the upcoming markups, and in the months to come, common sense solutions to fix higher education will prevail over measures that threaten access for millions of hardworking students and families.”



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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (June 22, 2016): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (June 22, 2016)

Happy hump day, Memo readers! Welcome to summer: when DC heat becomes oppressive and seasonal showers result in flooded metro stations. With just 25 days until Cleveland and 32 days until Philadelphia, veep scouting is well under way. In this week’s memo, 2 Clinton camp VP shortlisters are flexing their muscles to take on failing for-profit colleges. Find out who below. Please share this week’s edition and encourage your friends, colleagues, neighbors, and campaign staff to sign up for Millennial Memo.

CANDIDATE QUESTION OF THE WEEK: How would you ensure greater quality in America’s higher education system?

CLINTON CAMP PREVIEWS MILLENNIAL VOTER OUTREACH: “Clinton’s allies in the environmental, labor and women’s health communities are tapping into the same data, digital and other messaging tactics that Sanders used to such great effect in galvanizing millions of millennial supporters… [As for herself, Clinton’s] aides say she’ll embrace her age – 68, which is actually two years younger than Trump — and inner policy wonk. ‘She doesn’t need to be cool. She just needs to be who she is,’ said Sarah Audelo, the Clinton campaign’s youth vote director. ‘That’s what young people are interested in. Young people want authenticity.’ …The Clinton youth vote gameplan includes targeting different subgroups of the millennial generation on their own turf. High school students who will be 18 by Election Day can expect to get their own special pitch. Different messages will be directed at college students, young professionals just getting started in their careers and older millennials who have started families. Clinton’s youth-vote staffers are planning to take a listening tour of college campuses and other places where millennials work and congregate.” (Politico, June 20, 2016)
COLLEGE RNC CHAIR SAYS HIGHER ED MESSAGE AND PLAN WILL BE IMPERATIVE FOR TRUMP TO REACH MILLENNIALS: “Alexandra Smith, chair of the College Republican National Committee told NBC News conservative students were not swayed by radical education reform. ‘The good news for Republicans is that our research showed that young voters, and especially young independents, were not lured in by false promises of ‘free college,’’ Smith said. ‘Instead, these voters expressed a desire for candidates to propose solutions focused on finding new ways to pay for college as opposed to government just footing the bill.’ Yet, even Smith noted the importance of Trump highlighting education reform policies in order to sway young voters. ‘In the general election, it will be imperative that he bring that message and plan to campus this fall to reach young people.’” (NBC News, June 17, 2016)

SANDERS WON MORE YOUTH VOTES THAN CLINTON AND TRUMP COMBINED: “In the 2016 campaign, Sanders won more votes among those under age 30 than the two presumptive major-party presidential nominees combined. And it wasn’t close.
Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 2.55.07 PM
The above chart comes from a report by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University. It shows more than 2 million young people cast ballots for Sanders in the 21 states that voted by June 1 and where exit polls included data on the youth vote. Clinton and Donald Trump combined? Less than 1.6 million. Sanders, in fact, won about 29 percent more votes among those under the age of 30.” (Washington Post, June 20, 2016)

MEASURING UP MILLENNIALS: “Clinton, in [last] week’s Bloomberg Politics national survey, enjoys a lead of 3 to 1 among likely voters aged 18 to 29, and more than a 3-to-2 advantage among 30- to 39-year-olds. These millennials still aren’t wild about the presumptive Democratic nominee. Her favorable ratings are far below Barack Obama’s. But Trump’s negatives are stunning: Among 18- to 29-year-olds, 83 percent have an unfavorable view of him… In the Selzer survey, more than three quarters of older Americans say they are likely to vote in November. Only 54 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds and 69 percent of the older millennials say the same. If this holds, it means turnout among the younger millennials would drop sharply from 2012, when they made up 19 percent of the whole electorate. That provides a challenge for the Clinton campaign. … Gary Johnson… gets about one in six millennials, twice the support he has from older voters.” (Bloomberg, June 15, 2016)

FAFSA SUBMITS ON THE DECLINE: “A trove of data released this week by the Department of Education shows fewer high school seniors are turning in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) than last year. As of June 3, submissions among high school seniors nationwide were down 4 percent compared with the same period a year ago. Although the department did not make national completion data available, officials suspect the decline is even higher as students often fail to fix mistakes after submitting the form. Between 9 percent and 10 percent of submitted FAFSA applications have not been completed in the last four years, according to the department.” (Washington Post, June 17, 2016)


BROWN PUSHING TO BAR FOR-PROFITS FROM MILITARY BASES: “The Senate [last] Tuesday approved a massive defense policy bill that includes Sen. Joe Manchin’s provision easing for-profit colleges’ access to military bases. The bill passed without the compromise language Manchin’s office said he had worked out with fellow Democrats who were strongly opposed to his amendment. The compromise version of the provision was the victim of a larger political fight… Manchin’s office tells [Politico that] he still believes the compromise language will be added during the conference committee… But there are already signs there could be a fight ahead. A spokeswoman for Sen. Sherrod Brown said he appreciates Manchin’s work on the issue but that Brown doesn’t believe ‘predatory for-profit colleges should be allowed on base where military members live and work in any capacity, and he will continue working to get the provision removed in conference.’” (Politico, June 15, 2016)

FOLLOWING WARREN’S CALL, DEPT OF ED SEEKS TO CURB POWER OF FOR-PROFIT COLLEGE ACCREDITING BODY: “In a devastating 29-page report issued Wednesday, officials with the Department of Education find the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) failed to adequately comply with 21 different federal standards for accreditors. In response, the report recommends revoking ACICS’s status as an accreditor, which would effectively force it to shut down. Colleges must be accredited by a federally-recognized accreditor to receive federal student loans. If ACICS is shut down, then 243 schools with about 900 total campuses could lose their access to federal money if they are not quickly accredited by a different organization. Currently, those schools receive about $5 billion in student loans per year… ACICS has recently been in the crosshairs of lawmakers such as Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who accuse it of providing lax oversight and allowing shady for-profit schools to repeatedly deceive and defraud students into spending thousands of dollars on low-value degrees.” (The Daily Caller, June 16, 2016)


PENNSYLVANIA–TOOMEY AND YORKTOWN U: Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) “is expected to get the Trump U treatment over his dealings with Yorktown University, a for-profit college that has been criticized for its lack of accreditation, questionable academic offerings and marketing to veterans who can receive government tuition aid. Toomey is an investor in the online program, served on its boards and agreed to appear in its marketing materials. Toomey’s campaign spokesman said the Senator was never a day-to-day player with the programs and argued that anyone trying to make Yorktown an issue is desperate… Yorktown pushed an online curriculum that was conservative and at times out of step with mainstream academic requirements… But the program never really took off. Its shaky finances and lack of accreditation prompted Colorado to ban Yorktown from offering degrees, forcing it to relocate to Florida, though the program still qualified for veterans to use G.I. Bill benefits. Toomey’s involvement with Yorktown came between his departure from the U.S. House after the 2004 elections and his election to the Senate in 2010. Tommey served on the school’s boards. His staff says the relationship was minor. ‘Many years ago, Senator Toomey was approached by an acquaintance about a new effort he was starting,’ Toomey communications director Ted Kwong tells TIME. ‘The Senator made a small contribution and lent his name to the organization, but that was the extent of his minimal involvement.’” (Time, June 20, 2016)

PENNSYLVANIA–McGINTY RESPONDS ON TOOMEY’S YORKTOWN CONNECTIONS: “Today, Katie McGinty, candidate for U.S. Senate, released the following statement after a TIME Magazine report revealed Senator Pat Toomey’s deep ties to Yorktown University, a scam, Trump University-style organization. Toomey is currently backing a bill that would make it easier for for-profit schools to target students, including veterans. ‘The TIME magazine story about Senator Toomey’s extensive ties with Yorktown University, a Trump University-style scam with ‘questionable academic offerings,’ is truly disturbing,’ said Katie McGinty.  ‘Pat Toomey needs to explain why he’s affiliated with something like this while also pushing legislation that would help shady for-profit schools continue to target students.’” (Katie McGinty for Senate, June 21, 2016)

NEW HAMPSHIRE–PRO-HASSAN LTE TARGETS AYOTTE ON STUDENT LOAN BILL: In a letter to the editor of the NH Union Leader, Hassan supporter Jessica Lu writes: “New Hampshire students who take the initiative to seek out higher education should not have to assume mountains of debt in order to obtain a degree and improve their future job prospects, and for the sake of students like me and our futures, the choice in New Hampshire’s upcoming senatorial race is clear. Sen. Kelly Ayotte appears to care little about investing in our futures. Instead of voting for an amendment that would have allowed students to refinance their loans at lower interest rates, she introduced a sham student loan bill that many called ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing,’ and ‘a handout to the loan industry.’ In contrast, Gov. Maggie Hassan has worked tirelessly throughout her career to make life easier for New Hampshire students by freezing tuition at state colleges. And at community colleges, tuition even went down.” (Union Leader, June 16, 2016)

IOWA–JUDGE’S CAMPAIGN WEBSITE ISSUES PAGE DETAILS HER HIGHER ED AGENDA: “Patty will be an advocate for increased access to Pell Grants, allowing graduates to refinance student loans at lower interest rates (an effort Chuck Grassley has opposed), and supports two years of free tuition at community colleges for students who maintain high academic standards.” (

IOWA–GRASSLEY SAYS CITES COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY AS AREA OF FOCUS IF HE IS RE-ELECTED: “Grassley outlined college affordability and ag and energy policy as particular areas of focus should he be re-elected, saying he would work to ensure access to Pell grants and work-study programs for students and to maintain incentive programs for alternative energy production.” (The Des Moines Register, June 8, 2016)
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Young Invincibles’ Statement on Department of Education’s Move to Revoke Accreditation Power From ACICS


June 15, 2016

Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

WASHINGTON — After the release of a recommendation from the Department of Education’s annual accreditation review to remove the accrediting powers of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, Rory O’Sullivan, deputy director of Young Invincibles released the following statement, praising the move:

“Too many students are being taken advantage of by poor quality schools that cash in on their dreams of earning a college degree. We strongly support cutting off schools who routinely fail their students from accessing Federal Student Aid, ” said Rory O’Sullivan, deputy director of Young Invincibles. “Given the alarming number of state and federal investigations into ACICS-approved schools, we are heartened to see the Department taking a closer look at the outcomes institutions accredited by the body provide.



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