ITT Technical Institute Closes, Impacting the Futures of 40,000 Students

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

ITT Technical Institute (ITT Tech) announced that it is closing all of its campuses in light of consumer protections implemented by the Department of Education prohibiting the institution from accessing federal financial aid programs when enrolling students. ITT Tech’s fraudulent and predatory business practices had resulted in lawsuits and investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 13 state Attorneys General. Rather than adjust their model to address the various problems reported by students across the country, ITT Tech decided to close. This decision will have a major impact on the approximately 40,000 students across the country currently enrolled at the chain of schools, who are now left to forge a new educational path, and make some difficult decisions whether to pursue discharge for their loans and restart their education, or to transfer their credits to a new school.

Christopher Nellum, Young Invincibles’ Policy Director, issued the following statement: “The actions by the Department were an important step toward holding predatory schools accountable and preventing them from irresponsibly using students’ and taxpayers’ money without providing quality educational programs. While the closure will prevent further enrollment in ITT Tech, it’s important to remember that dedicated students trying to complete their degrees now must navigate the shutdown. We must make sure that those students who have been poorly served by ITT Tech are not saddled with debt they cannot repay and are not halted in their goal of getting a postsecondary education.

We are pleased to see the Department of Education has outlined possible paths for students, and we encourage them to make the applications for closed school discharges and the information about possible credit transfers and other local institutional options more widely available. We also renew a call for Congress to pass legislation to reinstate each student’s Pell Grant eligibility and, if applicable, G.I. Bill eligibility in situations like this, so that students can get a truly clean slate. Finally, we hope that increased data and transparency in our higher education system will ensure students’ and taxpayers’ money is protected from unscrupulous actors in higher education.”

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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (July 20, 2016): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (July 20, 2016)

Happy Wednesday, folks. What a whirlwind of a week! Wishing everyone safe travels to/from Cleveland and Philly. Read this week’s roundup to stay in the know about all things 2016, Millennial voters, and higher ed. Feel free to share this bulletin with your colleagues and friends, and encourage them to sign up for updates here.

WHAT ROLE WILL COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY HAVE AT RNC? “Debt-ridden graduates, and families of current and future college students will want to listen for any firm student loans proposals that might emerge from this week’s Republican National Convention. Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has no major policy statements about student debt on his website. But some of his ideas have trickled out in stump speeches and interviews. Sam Clovis, the national co-chair and policy director of Trump’s campaign, said Trump is considering a complete overhaul of the federal student loan program, taking government out of the lending business and restoring the role of private banks, according to the Inside Higher Ed website. Other proposals being considered by Trump would require colleges to share in the risk of student loans and discourage borrowing by liberal arts majors, Inside Higher Ed says.” (Bankrate, July 18, 2016)

REPUBLICAN PARTY RELEASES PLATFORM, OUTLINES GOALS FOR HIGHER ED: At the Republican National Convention on Monday, the Republican Party voted to adopt its party platform, which outlines the party’s issue stances until the next election. See the full platform here.

Improving Higher Education
Our colleges, universities, and trade schools, large and small, public and private, form the world’s greatest assemblage of learning. They drive much of the research that keeps America competitive and, by admitting large numbers of foreign students, convey our values and culture to the world. Their excellence is undermined by an ideological bias deeply entrenched within the current university system. Whatever the solution may be in private institutions, in state schools the trustees have a responsibility to the taxpayers to ensure that their enormous investment is not abused for political indoctrination. We call on state officials to preserve our public colleges, universities, and trade schools as places of learning and the exchange of ideas, not zones of intellectual intolerance or “safe zones,” as if college students need protection from the free exchange of ideas. A student’s First Amendment rights do not end at the schoolhouse gates. Colleges, universities, and trade schools must not infringe on their freedom of speech and association in the name of political correctness. We condemn the campus-based BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) campaign against Israel. It is anti-Semitism and should be denounced by advocates of academic freedom.

College Costs
The cost of a college education has long been on an unsustainable trajectory, rising year by year far ahead of inflation. Nationwide, student debt now exceeds credit card debt with average debt levels per student totaling roughly $27,000. Delinquency rates on student loans are now as high as they were on subprime mortgages during the housing crisis. Over half of recent college grads are unemployed or underemployed, working at jobs for which their expensive educations gave them no preparation. We need new systems of learning to compete with traditional four-year schools: Technical institutions, online universities, life-long learning, and work- based learning in the private sector. Public policy should advance their affordability, innovation, and transparency and should recognize that a four-year degree from a brick-and-mortar institution is not the only path toward a prosperous and fulfilling career. The federal government should not be in the business of originating student loans. In order to bring down college costs and give students access to a multitude of financing options, private sector participation in student financing should be restored. Any regulation that increases college costs must be challenged to balance its worth against its negative economic impact on students and their families. In order to encourage new modes of higher education delivery to enter the market, accreditation should be decoupled from federal financing, and states should be empowered to allow a wide array of accrediting and credentialing bodies to operate. This model would foster innovation, bring private industry into the credentialing market, and give students the ability to customize their college experience.”

CLINTON ON PENCE’S HIGHER ED RECORD: “As Indiana faced a budget shortfall, Pence signed a law giving huge tax cuts to Indiana corporations. Just months later, he tried to balance the books by cutting millions out of Indiana’s higher education budget. His record on  education is dismal generally.” (Hillary for America, July 15, 2016)

STEIN CALLS FOR QUANTITATIVE EASING PACKAGE TO PAY FOR CANCELING STUDENT DEBT: In an MSNBC interview, Dr. Jill Stein states she would cancel student debt if elected president. When asked how she would do that, Dr. Stein says: “What you can do is a quantitative easing. How did we bail out Wall Street? We gave them $4.5 trillion and more in a quantitative easing, which actually it doesn’t cost the taxpayers. It’s essentially expanding the money supply, which is a terrible thing to do unless you have made the economy more productive, which is exactly what we would do by wiping out the debt for young people.” Watch the clip here at 3:53. (MSNBC, July 14, 2016)

PODESTA HOPES SANDERS WILL HIT CAMPAIGN TRAIL TO ENGAGE YOUNG VOTERS: “He said he wants to send Bernie Sanders, who gave Clinton a full-throated endorsement last week, out on a college campus speaking tour through the fall, as part of a millennial get-out-the-vote operation. “We’d like him to spend time in battleground states and do college campuses,” Podesta said of Sanders, who enjoys massive popularity with the under-30 set, the same segment of the population Clinton has struggled to enthuse. “But he’s got some places that are not on our map that he wants to do for congressional races, like California.”” (Politico, July 18, 2016)

GOP LAWMAKERS CALL FOR REVIEW OF BILL CLINTON TIES TO FOR-PROFIT U: “Dozens of House Republicans, led by Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, ask[ed] the feds Friday to investigate the Clinton Foundation — including the Clintons’ ties to Laureate Education, a for-profit college chain. A letter to the FBI, IRS and FTC, signed by more than 65 lawmakers, ask[ed] the agencies to review allegations ‘pursuant to your jurisdictional charge.’ They say ‘unresolved media reports’ suggest the foundation is a ‘lawless ‘pay to play’ enterprise.’ Former President Bill Clinton was paid $16.5 million to serve as honorary chancellor of Laureate International Universities, and Laureate has donated money to the Clinton Foundation, the letter says. In addition, it says that the International Youth Foundation, an organization focused on training and educating young people for the workforce, is ‘run by’ Laureate founder Douglas Becker, and received over $55 million in USAID grants from 2010 to 2012. Blackburn is a Trump ally and is scheduled to speak at the RNC convention next week in Cleveland. The lawmakers’ letter follows a similar line of attack made last month by Donald Trump against the foundation and its ties to Laureate. The accuracy of the comments were challenged by outlets such as Politifact and the Washington Post’s fact checker.” (Politico, July 15, 2016)

CLINTON CAMPAIGN RESPONDS: According to Politico, “Josh Schwerin, a Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman, called the letter ‘another baseless political attack from House Republicans.’”


OHIO–NEW PORTMAN CAMPAIGN VIDEO SPOTLIGHTS STUDENT VOLUNTEERS & INTERNS: Watch the ad featuring many of his 500 summer interns, who are both high school and college students, here.


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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (March 30, 2016): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (March 30, 2016)

Happy hump day, everyone! Here’s your weekly Millennial Memo blast. Keep an eye out for YI’s new Millennial Workforce Agenda out next week. Please share this week’s memo with friends and colleagues, encourage others to sign up for updates here, and follow YI on Twitter here.

CHELSEA SKEWERS SANDERS ON FREE COLLEGE PLAN PAY-FOR: “‘One of the things that I’ve heard really resonates with voters is his now quite famous pledge to give free college tuition to anyone at a public university or community college,’ Chelsea Clinton told reporters on Thursday. ‘Yet I think when people really look at how he would do that, it’s partly through (fees), but largely through expecting states to come up with hundreds of billions of dollars Day One.’ She said the bill for Wisconsin alone would hit $11 billion. ‘Your governor and state Legislature cut $250 million from public funding in 2015 alone, so it’s hard to imagine they would want to or even have the budget capacity to come up with $11 billion to fund his pledge,’ Chelsea Clinton said. ‘It matters to me that (Hillary Clinton) doesn’t commit to things that she doesn’t have direct control over and that she knows kind of aren’t likely in the current political environment, in which we have 31 Republican governors, all of whom have cut public education the last couple of years.’” (Wisconsin State Journal, 3/25/2016)

PRIORITIES USA CHIEF ON INDEPENDENTS’ RESPONSE TO TRUMP U ADS: Priorities USA’s chief strategist Guy “Cecil pointed to a recent study by Ace Metrix, a TV analytics company, that showed some anti-Trump ads scored particularly highly among independent voters, with three testimonials from self-described “Trump University victims” among the top five most effective ads. ‘Because something doesn’t work in the context of a Republican primary doesn’t mean it won’t work in the context of an undecided independent voter,’ Cecil said. ‘And [it] doesn’t mean it won’t work to motivate Democrats to turn out.’” (Politico, 3/29/2016)

KASICH SAYS UNIVERSITIES NEED TO CONTAIN COSTS BEFORE ADDRESSING STUDENT DEBT: “The governor engaged with the many students [at a recent town hall in Madison, Wisconsin] by discussing issues of concern to them, such as college affordability and the economy. ‘[We need to] restructure loans, but that can’t be done until universities get their prices under control,’ Kasich said. ‘As the [debt] goes up, students’ chances at getting a job go down.’” (The Daily Cardinal, 3/28/2016)

CHELSEA CLINTON GETS TWO PINOCCHIOS FOR DESCRIPTION OF HER MOM’S NEW COLLEGE COMPACT: At a campaign event in Milwaukee, “Chelsea Clinton suggest[ed] her mother’s [college] plan would allow students to graduate from school debt-free from public universities or private universities, and allow students from low- and middle-class families to go to school without paying for tuition. The plan does offer opportunities for students attending private school to lower their debt – i.e., cutting student loan interest rates. But the no-loan, or debt-free, component only applies to those attending four-year public colleges and universities. The Clinton plan does not offer free tuition — that’s the Sanders plan — but it does allow some low- to lower-middle-income families to qualify for no to low tuition, depending on what they are able to pay without borrowing money. The student also would work 10 hours a week. It’s not often we see Chelsea Clinton publicly giving detailed policy answers on behalf of her mother on the campaign trail. In this case, she bungled her talking points and oversimplified components of her mother’s plan — ultimately misleading voters. We suggest she brush up on her talking points carefully the next time there is a question-and-answer session with voters. We wavered between Two and Three Pinocchios, but will spare her a Pinocchio since she was speaking extemporaneously during a question-and-answer session.” (The Washington Post, 3/29/2016)

CLINTON SURROGATE, SEN. McCASKILL, CALLS SANDERS’ FREE COLLEGE PLAN “UNREALISTIC”: “A national program modeled on Missouri’s A+ Scholarship could ease the burden of college debt, but the federal government can’t afford to provide free higher education to every student, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill said [on a college tour last week.]… McCaskill, who supports former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ proposal for free college for all was too expensive. ‘There is no question that some of the promises being made in this presidential campaign are unrealistic,’ she said.” (Columbia Tribune, 3/24/2016)

NEW REPORT SAYS CLINTON PLAN DRIVES RISK FOR HIGHER ED SYSTEM: Politico’s Kim Hefling writes in Morning Education: “Not only is Hillary Clinton’s higher education plan ‘prohibitively expensive’ and ‘not viable in its current form,’ it’s poised to drive risk for the higher education industry through the election, Compass Point Research & Trading said Thursday. ‘Secretary Clinton continues to struggle among younger voters, and as we head into the general election we expect her campaign to focus intently on her higher education plan as a means of connecting with that voter demographic,’ the report says. ‘She will begin aggressively advocating for her higher education plan, which could pose headline risks and possibly even entice her GOP opponent to embrace similar proposals.’” (Politico, 3/25/2016)


CALIFORNIA–HARRIS SECURES OVER $1.1 BILLION JUDGEMENT AGAINST PREDATORY CORINTHIAN COLLEGES: “California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris won a more than $1.1-billion judgment Wednesday against the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges, after a San Francisco judge ruled that the company’s advertising practices misled students and violated the law. Granting a default judgment, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow found that Corinthian Colleges provided untrue or misleading statements about graduates’ job placement rates, duping both students and investors, and that the Santa Ana-based company unlawfully used U.S. military seals in advertisements, among other claims. The for-profit college operator, which filed for bankruptcy protection in May, was also faulted for advertising programs or degrees that it didn’t offer, such as training programs for X-ray and dialysis technicians, according to court papers. The judgment found that Corinthian and its subsidiaries had unfair and unlawful debt collection practices, including barring students from attending classes if they were behind on loan payments, and that they failed to disclose their role in the ‘Genesis loan’ program… Harris’ office has the authority to distribute whatever funds it obtains from the judgment to students who attended Corinthian and its related schools in California from 2010 onward.” (Los Angeles Times, 3/23/2016)

NEW HAMPSHIRE–IN NYT PROFILE, HASSAN DISCUSSES HER RECORD ON HIGHER ED: “Trump and Sanders voters share ‘a pervasive feeling that the system is truly rigged,’ [Democratic candidate and NH Governor Maggie Hassan] said in an interview in her office in Concord. ‘People are very frustrated and angry, and have this sense that no matter how hard you work, you can’t get ahead and stay ahead.’ Drawing a contrast with Ms. Ayotte, she said, ‘We’ve tried to lower costs of higher education; I froze tuition’ at the public universities. ‘While we were working so hard to do that, my opponent voted for deep cuts to Pell grants.’” (The New York Times, 3/28/2016)

NEVADA: ONE NATION TOUTS HECK’S SUPPORT FOR WORKFORCE INNOVATION AND OPPORTUNITY ACT, CAREER & TECHNICAL ED, AND CAREER READINESS: A review of outside advocacy group One Nation’s YouTube page reveals a focus by the group on workforce issues. Television and radio spots tout Rep. Joe Heck’s support for the Career & Technical Education Act and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) “to ensure funding for quality technical education” and “create job opportunities and strengthen job training.” One of the TV spots goes on to focus on his support for career readiness workshops, including a clip of Heck saying, “we are going to be doing workshops here to buff your resume, do better interviews, dress for success.” Check out the Heck radio spot here and TV spots here and here.

OHIO–ONE NATION ON PORTMAN’S SUPPORT FOR WIOA: One Nation is also up with a spot touting Sen. Rob Portman’s support for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), saying that the bill would improve worker training. Check out the spot here.
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