Helpful Resources for 40,000 Students Impacted by ITT Tech Closure

ITT Technical Institute (ITT Tech), one of our nation’s largest for-profit institutions, announced recently that it is closing all of its campuses. This comes as the Department of Education implemented consumer protections prohibiting the institution from accessing federal financial aid programs when enrolling students. While YI is happy thousands of students will be shielded from ITT’s predatory business practices, many students are wondering what’s next.

The decision impacts approximately 40,000 students across the country enrolled at ITT and it is imperative to ensure those students have access to reliable information as the situation develops.  The Department of Education has outlined possible paths in a message from the Secretary of Education sent to ITT Tech students along with the creation of a new announcement page and FAQ for updates.

Additionally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) also released a blog post with  advice and next steps, as well as other helpful information, to thousands of students impacted by the closure.

Share this post with your networks and help us reach students whose educational journeys are forever altered to ensure that they are equipped with reliable information to help them navigate the process moving forward.


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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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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (August 10, 2016): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (August 10, 2016)

Good Wednesday morning, folks! We’re just 89 days away from the general election. With back-to-school approaching and debates right around the corner, you don’t want to miss a thing. Please share this week’s Millennial Memo, and stay in the know by signing up for updates here.

TRUMP BLAMES FEDERAL LOANS FOR RISING TUITION, PROMISES DEBT PLAN BY EARLY SEPTEMBER: “Donald Trump blamed federal student loans for rising college costs Tuesday, promising to unveil a policy proposal to address the problem of mounting student debt later in his campaign for the presidency. Calling in to Fox News Tuesday morning, the Republican presidential nominee fielded a viewer question about the problem of high student loan debt. Trump responded that he would be unveiling a plan for aiding student borrowers in early September. He then argued that the availability of federal student loans has allowed colleges to raise tuitions without suffering consequences, passing the burden of the higher costs on to students in the form of greater debt. “The students are like conduits to get money from the government,” Trump explained that students borrow money from the government, and then pay it to the schools in the form of tuition. As a result, he said, “the colleges don’t care what their costs are,” and tuitions have gone up “rampantly.” Trump has said that a federal program would be needed to make college affordable for low-income students.” (Washington Examiner, August 9, 2016)

MEASURING UP MILLENNIALS: A new Economist/YouGov poll finds Secretary Clinton leading Donald Trump, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein 42/36/9/2 respectively. The poll finds that among voters under 30, 41 percent are supporting Secretary Clinton, 22 percent are supporting Donald Trump, 18 percent are supporting Governor Johnson, and 7 percent are supporting Dr. Jill Stein. 12 percent are either voting for someone else, not sure yet, or will not vote. For some historical perspective, according to CIRCLE, President Obama won 18- to 29-year-old voters by a 60 to 37 margin over Governor Romney in 2012.

NEW CEA REPORT EMPHASIZES IMPORTANCE OF DEGREE, YET WARNS AGAINST FOR-PROFIT UNIVERSITIES: “As discussed in a recent CEA report, the college earnings premium has reached historical highs in recent years, reflecting a trend over several decades of increasing relative demand for skilled workers. In 2014, the median full-time, full-year worker over age 25 with a bachelor’s degree earned nearly 70 percent more than a similar worker with just a high school degree. Moreover, those with a college degree are more likely to be employed: in July 2016, Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher were 18 percentage points more likely to be employed than high school graduates. While these data suggest that the overall return to a college education is near historic highs, there is meaningful variation across individuals, largely related to the schools students attend and the programs they select. In particular, evidence suggests that the relatively low returns at for-profit colleges are increasingly becoming a cause for concern, especially given the high rates of borrowing by students at those schools. The rise in student loan debt in recent years has created challenges for some borrowers, and the Administration has taken steps—including creating options like the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) plan, which caps monthly student loan payments at 10 percent of discretionary income—to help borrowers manage debt after college.” (White House, August 5, 2016)

WHAT THE SURROGATES ARE SAYING–WALKER CALLS FOR PERFORMANCE-BASED FUNDING & INCREASING ACCESS TO OUTCOMES DATA: “One of our top goals is to make college more affordable for students and working families in Wisconsin. I am proud that, for the first time ever, we froze tuition at all University of Wisconsin (UW) campuses for four years in a row. We also want to find ways to reduce the amount of time to graduation and ways to help more students earn credits for college while still in high school. All of these reforms will help make college more affordable for students and working families. While there has been a great deal of talk about finances, it is important to note the overall UW System budget this year is the highest it has ever been, and the next state budget automatically starts with $50 million added to the base for the UW System budget. Looking ahead, I will propose an increase in funding for the UW System, and it will be connected to performance metrics. Over the past few years, we increased funding for our technical college system, including performance funding, and it is working very well. We believe it is important to know specific data such as how many students enroll, how many graduate, how many graduate on time, how much they take out in student loans, how much the student loans cost, how many graduates are employed and in what areas. New funding should help address the needs of students and employers in Wisconsin, and it should be based on performance.” (MacIver Institute, August 4, 2016)

NEW JERSEY STATE LAWMAKERS WANT TO DUMP STATE’S LOAN PROGRAM: “Two Senate Democratic leaders said Monday that New Jersey should scrap the student loan program now operated by the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority. They spoke toward the end of an over two-hour joint meeting of their committees to review the authority’s NJCLASS loan program. (The hearing was prompted by a New York Times/ProPublica article in July that said the loans have especially stringent terms.) HESAA is a state agency. Its mission is to help New Jersey students finance post-secondary education. At the hearing, several borrowers, both students and co-signatory parents, spoke about their difficulty in repaying loans. Some said they had had to declare bankruptcy because of the loans. HESAA loans are financed by tax-exempt bonds sold by the agency, which Gordon said means the program was “predestined to have problems.”” (Politico, August 8, 2016)

INSTITUTIONS LOBBY SETS COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY PRIORITIES FOR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: “[W]e urge the restoration of the year-round Pell Grant to help low-income students attend college and reduce their time to degree. We support strong tax provisions that encourage saving for higher education (such as Sec. 529 Education Savings Plans), help students and families pay for college (such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit), and assist borrowers as they repay student loans (such as the Student Loan Interest Deduction). State governments, too, should devote greater financial and other resources to higher education in order to minimize tuition increases. Institutions have an important role to play, as well, by offering substantial financial aid to needy students, being continually aggressive in pursuing cost-saving strategies, and employing technology, when appropriate, to provide high quality, affordable higher education.” (Association of American Universities, August 8, 2016)


NEW HAMPSHIRE–HASSAN RELEASES PLAN ON FOR-PROFIT UNIVERSITIES: “In the Senate, Maggie will protect veterans by closing the 90/10 Rule loophole. To help ensure that students are receiving a quality education, the 90/10 Rule requires colleges and universities that receive federal funding through student loans and grants to derive at least 10% of their revenue from non-governmental sources. However, a loophole allows federal veterans benefits to count toward the required 10% of “non-federal” revenue, leading some predatory for-profit schools to deliberately target veterans and servicemembers. As the Atlantic reported last year, many for-profit schools, such as Bridgepoint Education’s Ashford University, may only have been able to “keep afloat by exploiting veterans and their family members” in order to comply with the 90/10 Rule. [In addition, Hassan will:]
  • Promote transparency & improve 90/10 Rule compliance
  • Protect servicemembers from deceptive marketing
  • Prevent for-profit schools from saddling students with unmanageable debt
  • Provide student loan debt relief by allowing borrowers to refinance their loans
  • Maintain a strong & independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau”

(Maggie Hassan for Senate, August 2, 2016)

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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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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)



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)


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)

(Source: Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Facebook account)




(Source: Sen. Richard Burr’s Twitter account)
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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 29, 2016): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (June 29, 2016)
Good morning, Memo readers. With the June wave of primaries behind us, expect more down ballot races to begin in earnest after the July 4th holiday weekend. We’re just 18 days until the RNC in Cleveland, 25 days until the DNC in Philly, and 131 days until Election Day. You’re not going to want to miss a thing. Share this week’s Millennial Memo with your colleagues and friends, and encourage them to stay in the know by signing up for updates here.

CLINTON UNVEILS TECH AND INNOVATION PLAN INCLUDING MEASURES TO ALLEVIATE BURDEN OF STUDENT DEBT FOR ENTREPRENEURS: “Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton [announced] a plan [yester]day to provide student loan relief to ‘entrepreneurs and innovators’ — a proposal she hopes will spur young people to start new business ventures and create jobs. The proposal will allow aspiring entrepreneurs to ‘put their federal student loans into a special status’ for three years, where the loans will not accrue interest, allowing those entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground without worrying about their student debt, a campaign aide told Mic. And for entrepreneurs who launch businesses and hire workers in ‘distressed communities,’ they will be able to apply for loan forgiveness up to $17,500 of their student debt, the aide said. ‘Early joiners’ of those start-up companies — the first 10 to 20 employees — will also be eligible to apply for the student loan deferral program. Clinton hopes the proposal will inspire millennials to launch businesses and create jobs. ‘A smaller proportion of millennials today are starting new ventures as compared to their predecessors,’ the Clinton aide said.” (Mic, June 28, 2016)

HIGHER ED EXPERTS REACT TO CLINTON’S PLAN: The Urban Institute’s Senior Fellow Matt Chingos writes: “Efforts to stimulate entrepreneurship through changes to the student loan system are likely to be inefficient and unfair. Clinton’s interest-free deferral proposal, for example, would provide the largest benefits to the borrowers with the largest loans. These high-debt borrowers may or may not be those most in need of taxpayer subsidies to help them start a new business, as the amount borrowed depends on a range of factors including family income, the college attended, and work and spending habits while in college. The student loan program is already used for too many purposes for which it is ill-suited, such as subsidizing the employment of borrowers in the public and nonprofit sectors. There is nothing inherently wrong with subsidizing certain sectors of the economy—whether struggling nonprofits or Silicon Valley startups. But policymakers should do so directly, such as through tax credits, rather than through the student loan system.”

“I think it’s great to support entrepreneurship and innovation and to entice the millennial generation to support those things, especially in distressed communities,” Michelle Asha Cooper, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy told [Fusion]… when… asked for her initial impression of the proposal. “But, as with all political plans, the devil is really in the details.”

Jason Delisle, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a right-leaning think tank. “Someone starting a business generally wouldn’t be showing any income on their tax return, so they wouldn’t need to make any payments if they’re enrolled in an income-based plan,” he said. “So what would this [proposal] add? Yet another complicated option to achieve the same thing that the income-based program already does? Delisle also finds Clinton’s debt forgiveness plan for entrepreneurs puzzling at a time when the Obama administration has been dialing back its existing forgiveness plans. Under the newest repayment plan, anyone who borrowed for graduate school will have to make payments for 25 years, five years longer than everyone else, to have their remaining balance forgiven. That change addresses growing concern that the government could sink the program if it continues to offer grad students, who tend to borrow and earn more, generous debt forgiveness.”

PRIORITIES USA LAUNCHES MILLENNIAL VOTER TARGETING CAMPAIGN: “Priorities USA Action, the major super PAC supporting likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, is broadening its campaign against her Republican rival with a new generational appeal urging young voters to “Stop Trump/Stop Hate.” On Thursday, the group is launching a multimillion-dollar online campaign against Donald Trump, targeting millennials with digital ads and a “We Can Stop Hate” website with shareable images of the real estate developer’s provocative tweets and a call for people to share acts of kindness. The site, which seeks to harness the social media networks of millennials, also encourages young people to register to vote and will offer branded merchandise.” (Washington Post, 6/23/2016)


MEASURING UP MILLENNIALS: A new ABC-Washington Post poll finds a substantial shift in who young voters are supporting since last month. In May 2016, Clinton led Trump among 18-29 year-olds 45 percent to 42 percent — just a 3 point spread. This month’s poll finds that 18-29 year-olds are supporting Clinton 51 percent to Trump’s 31 percent — a 20 point spread.


COLORADO–GLENN WINS BID TO CHALLENGE BENNET: “Darryl Glenn, a tea-party favorite from the conservative stronghold of Colorado Springs, decisively won Colorado’s Republican U.S. Senate primary Tuesday and will face incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet in November… Glenn, an El Paso County commissioner and self-described Christian constitutionalist conservative, was the only candidate voted directly to the primary at the state GOP convention. He won endorsements from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and the tea party-aligned Senate Conservatives Fund, which poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into his campaign.” (Associated Press, 6/28/2016)

FLORIDA–FOR FLORIDA’S FUTURE TO HOLD CANDIDATES ACCOUNTABLE FOR STUDENT DEBT POSITIONS: “For Florida’s Future, a joint super PAC and 501(c)4 organization, aims to highlight and hold accountable candidates for their words and records on specific issues including climate change, student debt and retirement security. The group is affiliated with the national For Our Future PAC led by billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate and the AFL-CIO; the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; the American Federation of Teachers; and the National Education Association.” (Tampa Bay Times, 6/25/2016)

NEVADA–UNLV & UNR STUDENTS JOIN NV DEM PARTY IN HITTING HECK ON VOTES: “A war of words broke out last week after a group of UNLV and UNR students backed by the state Democratic Party criticized Republican Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Joe Heck for his support of for-profit colleges and his votes to cut some student loans. The students cited Heck’s two previous House votes to eliminate mandatory funding for federal student loans and to repeal regulations that defined minimum standards on for-profit colleges to be authorized by a state. ‘Congressman Heck’s support for for-profit colleges — along with his votes to cut Pell Grants — makes it clear that he is more concerned with siding with the special interests and his party bosses in Washington, than supporting Nevada’s current and future students,’ said Sarah Zukowski, spokeswoman for the Nevada State Democratic Party.” (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 6/12/2016)

NEVADA–HECK CAMPAIGN RESPONDS BY QUESTIONING CORTEZ MASTO’S COMMITMENT TO NV STUDENTS: “Heck campaign manager Brian Baluta pointed out that one Democratic opponent, Catherine Cortez Masto, had previously been appointed executive vice chancellor at the Nevada System of Higher Education in late 2014 after being termed out as the state attorney general. But she resigned within a semester to run for retiring U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s seat, the office Heck is also seeking. Heck, a Republican, and Cortez Masto, a Democrat, are the favorites of their respective parties in Tuesday’s primary. ‘That’s some commitment to Nevada’s students,’ Baluta said Thursday. ‘While Joe Heck, a father of three, including a current UNR student, was making college more affordable and accessible by capping student loan interest rates and streamlining the financial aid process, Catherine Cortez Masto was abusing the Nevada System of Higher Ed as her own for-profit university — enriching herself through a $215,000 taxpayer-paid job thanks to her political connections.’” (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 6/12/2016)

(Source: Rep. Joe Heck’s Facebook Account, June 22, 2016)

PENNSYLVANIA–MCGINTY HITS TOOMEY FOR VOTING TO GET RID OF GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT RULE WHILE INVESTING IN DEFUNCT FOR-PROFIT COLLEGE: “Democrat Katie McGinty is challenging incumbent Pat Toomey for supporting a bill to roll back regulations opposed by for-profit colleges — and for his ties to Yorktown University, an online educator that drew little notice until this week. ‘Senator Toomey needs immediately to divest the money he has invested in Yorktown University and rescind his support for legislation that would help shady for-profit colleges,’ Ms. McGinty said this week, referring to Mr. Toomey’s co-sponsorship of Senate Bill 559. That Republican-backed bill would overturn regulations including a “gainful employment” rule, enacted by the Obama administration, which pulls federal financial aid from for-profit schools where student debt dramatically outpaces post-graduation earnings. Ms. McGinty’s demand that Mr. Toomey divest himself from Yorktown may be moot. His financial disclosure statements value his Yorktown investment at under $1,000. It may now be worth even less. [Yorktown] shut down entirely last week, after it was unable to make a credit payment.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 24, 2016)
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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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