Automatic Group Student Loan Relief Offered to Defrauded Borrowers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 13, 2017
CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 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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ITT Technical Institute Closes, Impacting the Futures of 40,000 Students

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Contact: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 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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New Regulations Imposed on ITT Technical Institute Help Protect Students from Dubious Practices

Friday, August 26th, 2016

CONTACT: Nina Smith, nina.smith@younginvincibles.org, 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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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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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)

SENATE SPECIAL

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)

NEVADA–HECK TOUTS EFFORTS TO INCREASE COLLEGE ACCESS:
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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (August 4, 2016): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (August 4, 2016)

Good Thursday morning! With the Olympic Games set to kick off in Rio this week, the electorate will largely be distracted these next few weeks — focusing their attention on Team USA, not Teams Trump or Clinton. How will the campaigns cut through the clutter to deliver important messages through the end of the month? We shall wait and see. Please share this week’s memo, and encourage your friends and colleagues to stay in the loop by signing up for updates here.

TRUMP TO RELEASE COLLEGE DEBT PLAN: “Trump said he would announce his plan to address college debt in four weeks. During [a] press conference, Trump accused colleges of viewing students simply as a “conduit” for federal loans and went on to say that he would help students even if that idea “doesn’t fit beautifully into the Republican framework.” “The saddest thing I see is these students are leveraged, [with] debt up to their necks,” he said. “They can’t breathe, they’re scared, they’re so scared — they have leveraged their entire life.” It’s hard to know exactly what Trump’s student debt and college affordability plan would look like. “Nothing to add at this time,” campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks wrote in an email when asked for more details on Trump’s proposal. Most of Trump’s comments related to higher education thus far have been defenses of his real estate seminar program, Trump University, which is facing multiple lawsuits. But a close reading of the tea leaves provides some inklings of what his proposal might look like. Trump accused the government of profiting off student loans during a Twitter chat last year, calling the situation “not fair” and adding “we’re going to make it really good for the student.” Trump’s team has given other hints that he would curtail the government’s role in student lending. Sam Clovis, the national co-chair and policy director for Trump’s campaign, told Inside Higher Ed earlier this year that the campaign is considering requiring colleges to be on the hook in some way for loans made to their students (that idea made it into Clinton’s plan as well) and giving private banks a bigger role in an overhauled federal student loan system.” (MarketWatch, July 27, 2016)

SUMMARY JUDGEMENT DENIED IN TRUMP U CASE: “Late Tuesday afternoon, Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel denied Donald Trump’s motion for summary judgment in the Trump University case, finding instead that there is enough evidence to move forward with the case.  The class action lawsuit alleges that Trump University defrauded students out of thousands of dollars. Judge Curiel also found that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Trump “knowingly participated” in the “scheme to defraud” and whether he made representations that were “false and misleading.” Trump’s attorney filed a motion to essentially get the case dismissed, stating that Trump was not integrally involved in the running of the organization, and that evidence from depositions showed that there was not enough to proceed with the case. In a separate order, Judge Curiel ruled against media organizations seeking to get Trump’s videotaped deposition released.  Trump sate for two depositions under oath in December and January. Trump’s attorneys argued that releasing the videotapes could taint the jury pool, whereas the media organizations argued it was in the public interest to release the videotapes.” (Law Newz, August 2, 2016)

CLINTON ALIGNS HERSELF WITH SANDERS, TOUCHES ON COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY, IN DNC SPEECH: “If we invest in infrastructure now, we’ll not only create jobs today, but lay the foundation for the jobs of the future. And we will transform the way we prepare our young people for those jobs. Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition-free for the middle class and debt-free for all!   We will also liberate millions of people who already have student debt. It’s just not right that Donald Trump can ignore his debts, but students and families can’t refinance theirs.” (LA Times, July 28, 2016)

PRIVATE COLLEGE INDUSTRY PUSHES BACK ON CLINTON PLAN: “Clinton’s “plan is facing significant blowback from private, nonprofit colleges, who warn that the tuition help for public schools would reverse decades of federal policy, undercut private institutions and spur an exodus of middle-class students that would turn private schools into bastions of the rich… There are about 1,600 private colleges across the U.S., and they enroll about one in five college students. Private colleges compete directly with public colleges for students and that competition would get a lot harder if public schools are suddenly free… [Responding to criticism of the campaign’s plan,] spokesman Jesse Ferguson stressed that Clinton has a “comprehensive” college plan “that includes support for students at private colleges, as well as public, including lower interest rate loans, the ability to refinance existing loans, support for student-parents, debt forgiveness for AmeriCorps [volunteers], and a year-round Pell grant, to name just some.”” (Politico, August 2, 2016))

CLINTON HIGHER ED ADVISOR CALLS FOR FOCUSING STUDENT DEBT CONVERSATION ON NON-COMPLETERS: “The Urban Institute’s Sandy Baum, who advised Secretary Clinton’s campaign on her higher education plan said: “I think what is most important is for people to understand that the common image of the student loan problem really misses the point… People have an image of a recent bachelor’s degree recipient who went to college for four years and is now 22-23 years old and is working at Starbucks. Those people are very rare. People who earn bachelor’s degrees, by and large, do fine. The problem is that we have a lot of people actually borrowing small amounts of money, going to college, not completing [a degree] or completing credentials that don’t have labor market value. They tend to be older. They tend to come from disadvantaged, middle-income families and they’re struggling. [But] not because they owe a lot of money.” (NPR, July 28, 2016)

THOUSANDS COMMENT ON DEPT. OF ED’S PROPOSED FEDERAL LOAN DISCHARGE RULE: “The U.S. Department of Education has received more than 10,000 comments in response to a proposed rule for federal loan forgiveness for students whose colleges have defrauded them. The deadline for submitting comments was 11:59 p.m. Aug. 1.The department released the new proposed regulations, known as defense to repayment, in June in response to the collapse of Corinthian Colleges. Among the main requirements of the proposed rules: colleges and universities must provide warnings to students about poor loan repayment rates and set aside money for loan forgiveness. Most critically, they lay out a path for the government to forgive students’ debt when they claim they were defrauded by their institution. But a number of groups representing a range of public and private colleges are raising concerns about whether they would be applied too broadly. A primary focus of those groups is the possibility that the definition of misrepresentation in the rules could be interpreted extremely loosely and applied to nearly every college and university in the country. Other groups have been broadly receptive to the proposals and even called for certain measures to be strengthened. The Institute for College Access and Success released a letter with the backing of 56 organizations advocating for students, consumers and other interest groups affected by potential loan regulations that applauded the protections included in the draft proposal. But the letter said loopholes in sections on predispute arbitration and class-action claims would leave some borrowers unprotected.” (Inside Higher Ed, August 2, 2016)

WHAT WOULD FREE COLLEGE COST?: “The Sanders campaign had previously estimated the cost of free college for all at $75 billion, and proposed a tax on Wall Street transactions to pay for it. But when you’re talking about government subsidies for anything, the math isn’t simple. States have relied on large annual tuition increases for decades. Tuition has risen 40 percent in the last 10 years at four-year public colleges and universities, as Hillary Clinton’s campaign notes. To avoid signing a federal blank check that rises each year, Clinton’s platform talks about getting buy-in from colleges and states to rein in costs. The Department of Education might use accreditation or eligibility for federal financial aid as carrots or sticks to encourage states to keep tuition low. Eliminating four-year college tuition would inevitably mean handing free money to some families that can afford to pay. On the other hand, the current means-tested financial aid program requires low-income students to jump through lots of hoops, like dealing with the daunting FAFSA form, to prove their status and maximize their aid. Many can’t navigate the system and fall out along the way.” (WBEZ, July 28, 2016)

MAJORITY OF STUDENT BORROWERS BEWILDERED BY REPAYMENT PROCESS: “The latest [National Financial Capability Study (NFCS)] data find that about one-in-five loan holders do not know the terms of their student loans. For example, they can’t say whether their monthly payments are determined by their income. And the majority (54%) of borrowers did not calculate their monthly payments when they took out their most recent loan. The new data also show that 48% of loan holders fear they will be unable to pay off that debt. If they could go back in time, a whopping 53% of student-loan holders say they would do it differently. Financial-literacy education, starting as early as elementary school, won’t help current loan holders but it will prepare the next generations of students. For example, one new question tucked into the survey was designed to measure knowledge of interest compounding in the context of debt. What it reveals could explain why people are ending up with such surprising amounts of debt: Only 33% of respondents know that it takes less than five years for debt to double if one borrows at a 20% interest rate. When it comes to financial capability, the field is wide open to help people and, in particular, the young get savvy about their personal finances. Financial education is key to repairing our economy’s weak link.” (MarketWatch, July 31, 2016)

DEPT. OF ED SHUTS DOWN THREE FOR-PROFIT MEDTECH CAMPUSES: “The U.S. Department of Education [cut] off federal student financial aid for three MedTech College campuses…because MedTech officials allegedly lied about job placement rates at the three schools. The three MedTech campuses, which enroll a total of about 750 students, received about $16 million in Pell Grants and federal student loans for the 2014–15 award year, according to the U.S. Department of Education. MedTech made “numerous misrepresentations” to its accreditor, the department, and to the public regarding the career outcomes of its graduates.” (Diverse Education, July 26, 2016)
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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (July 28, 2016): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (July 28, 2016)

Good morning! As convention season comes to a close and families scramble to write tuition checks, look for back to school to play a prominent role throughout the month of August. It’s go-time in the race for Millennial voters’ support. Please share this week’s Millennial Memo, and encourage your colleagues and friends to stay in the know, sign up for updates here.

SANDERS ON COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY IN DNC SPEECH: “This election is about the thousands of young people I have met all over this country, the thousands that I have met who have left college deeply in debt, and tragically the many others who cannot afford to go to college. During the primary campaign, Secretary Clinton and I both focused on this issue but with somewhat different approaches. Recently, however, we have come together on a proposal that will revolutionize higher education in America. It will guarantee that the children of any family in this country with an annual income of $125,000 a year or less – 83 percent of our population – will be able to go to a public college or university tuition-free. That proposal also substantially reduces student debt.” (NPR, July 25, 2016)

ANALYSIS COUNTERS REPORT THAT COLLEGE STUDENTS SPEND VERY LITTLE TIME ON ACADEMICS: According to a new Heritage Foundation report, students are being paid to “slack off. The report…looked at data from the American Time Use Survey (sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and concluded that full-time college students spend just eight hours a week in class and just 19 hours a week on any kind of educational activity at all, including homework and extracurricular activities. Even students who don’t work spend just 25 hours a week on education. But the study extrapolates far too much from far too little evidence. There are also other key gaps. The survey only tracks each person for one day, so we don’t know whether a student who doesn’t have a job one semester might have one the next. And importantly for the authors’ thesis, the survey doesn’t track who receives student aid, so there is no way to know whether subsidized loans are encouraging students to work or study less. There are hints that they don’t: Low-income students, who generally receive the most generous subsidies, spend more time studying than any other group.” (FiveThirtyEight, July 22, 2016)

WAPO DETAILS KAINE HIGHER ED RECORD AS VIRGINIA GOV: “Timothy M. Kaine backed a major construction initiative for public colleges during his four years as Virginia governor and oversaw increases for higher education funding until economic recession squeezed state spending midway through his term. As governor, Kaine left a mark on higher education in Virginia. He consoled Virginia Tech after a gunman killed 32 students, faculty and staff members on campus in 2007 in what was at the time the deadliest mass shooting in the nation’s history. Kaine also made numerous appointments to college boards, perhaps none more significant than his choice in 2008 of Virginia Beach home builder Helen E. Dragas to fill a seat on the University of Virginia Board of Visitors. In December 2007, Kaine proposed borrowing $1.65 billion to support construction projects at public colleges and universities — an initiative described at the time as the largest proposal of its kind in state history. The legislature in April 2008 approved a bond initiative totaling $1.5 billion, mostly benefiting higher education. At the outset of his term, Kaine oversaw funding increases for higher education. Data from the State Higher Education Executive Officers shows that Virginia   provided public appropriations of $6,856 per full-time college student in 2007, up from $6,145 in 2005 before Kaine took office. (Figures were adjusted for inflation.) But state funding ebbed after the nation plunged into recession in 2007-08. The appropriation per student fell to $6,314 in 2009 — Kaine’s final full year in office — and $5,561 in 2010.” (Washington Post, July 25, 2016)

HECHINGER ANALYSIS ON ROLE OF STATES VIS-A-VIS DEM HIGHER ED PROPOSAL: “Tuition is a little more than one-third of the actual cost of attending most state colleges, according to federal data. Students, then, can be on the hook for up to an additional $15,000 after tuition – and that’s why student debt has been rising so fast. Back in 1980, Pell grants covered 77 percent of the cost of attending a four-year public university, but by 2011 that had dropped to barely one-third of the cost, according to The Education Trust. Student debt now averages about $30,000 per student. Students with children can be hit even harder, juggling work, childcare costs and college. More than a quarter of all college students are raising kids. Single mothers comprise 43 percent of students raising children and single fathers 11 percent. Clinton says that her proposal to expand funding for on-campus child care centers would open 250,000 new spots for children of college students. She’s also offering a maximum of $1,500 a year to up to one million students to defray transportation and child care costs. It’s not clear from the platform how the Democrats would or could implement their pledge to increase state funding for college. Most of the funding decisions – such as tuition rates and financial support for public colleges and universities – take place at the state level. The Democrats’ higher education platform may indeed solidify, and even excite, their traditional base, but it’s unclear how much of it will become policy. Even if it does, it’s equally unclear whether it would increase the number of low-income Americans who earn college degrees.” (The Hechinger Report, July 25, 2016)

FAFSA UPDATES SIMPLIFY FILING PROCESS: “For the 2017-18 academic year, people can turn in the FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016. [And] students and their families will use their financial information from the 2015 tax year to fill out the FAFSA. The idea is that this will make it easier to fill out the form earlier. It also allows more people to take advantage of the IRS Data Retrieval tool. It transfers your tax information to the FAFSA, but because many people have traditionally filled out the FAFSA before completing their taxes, that tool hasn’t been as helpful as it could be. ‘This will simplify the FAFSA, cutting about a page of questions from the form,’ Mark Kantrowitz, said in an email to Credit.com. ‘Also, any data element that is transferred unmodified from the IRS will not be subject to verification … This is especially important for low-income students, who often have difficulty completing verification.’ ‘The switch to prior-prior year also increases the amount of time available to apply for financial aid, from 18 months to 21 months,’ Kantrowitz said. He said he hoped the earlier availability of the form would lead to more low-income students filing their FAFSAs early, consequently allowing them to qualify for more state aid. Changes to how people apply for federal student aid hardly solves the burden of rising education costs and the ever-growing student loan debt in the U.S., but they simplify a process that many people find intimidating.” (Marketwatch, July 20, 2016)

FEDS WORK FOR STUDENT LOAN SERVICER ACCOUNTABILITY: “The Obama administration is taking a hard line on the contractors it uses to collect federal student loan payments, threatening to withhold compensation or new business if companies fail to adhere to new standards for servicing over a trillion dollars in student debt. On Wednesday, the Department of Education issued guidance directing the head of its financial arm, James Runcie, to hold student loan servicers accountable for borrowers receiving accurate, consistent and timely information about their debt. The 56-page memo calls for the creation of financial incentives for targeted outreach to people at great risk of defaulting on their loans, a baseline level of service for all borrowers and a contract flexible enough to penalize servicers for poor service, among other things. Researchers at the Government Accountability Office found that 70 percent of people in default actually qualified for a lower monthly payment through income-driven plans that cap monthly payments to a percentage of earnings, but servicers are failing to provide sufficient information about the options. Even when the contractors reach out to delinquent borrowers, the information is often inconsistent.” (Washington Post, July 20, 2016)

SENATE SPECIAL

ILLINOIS–DUCKWORTH HIGHLIGHTS FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE: “Duckworth sat down with WGIL for an in-depth interview and took aim at Kirk on a number of issues, including his opposition of free community college.The Hoffman Estates Democrat says her opponent ‘calls free education a hand out’ and she ‘couldn’t disagree more.’ ‘You’ve got Carl Sandburg College that is such a great feeder program and then you’ve got Knox College right there,’ Duckworth says. ‘We could find ways to make certain programs at Sandburg free community college so that anyone who qualifies can go to school for free. It helps lower that debt burden so that we don’t have people from college graduating with huge student loan debt.’” (WGIL, July 17, 2016)

NORTH CAROLINA–2016 IS BURR’S LAST SENATE RACE: “Burr, 60, told the Tar Heel State GOP delegation Wednesday morning that he would not be running again for the Senate after this November. The decision to not run again after 2016, Burr said, came down to his age and a desire to eventually return to the private sector and spend more time with his family.” Burr ranks high on the Senate Education committee. (Stars and Stripes, July 20, 2016)

NEVADA–CORTEZ MASTO TOUTS DISCUSSING COST OF HIGHER ED WITH FUTURE COLLEGE STUDENTS:
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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.’”

SENATE SPECIAL 

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.

NEW HAMPSHIRE–HASSAN COMMENDS WARREN ON STANCE AGAINST FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES:

WISCONSIN–FEINGOLD TIES STUDENT DEBT TO DELAYS IN HOME OWNERSHIP:
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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)

SENATE SPECIAL

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.

NORTH CAROLINA–ROSS ACCUSES BURR OF DEFENDING FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES:

(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)

CLINTON PITCHES STUDENT DEBT REFORMS AT YOUTUBE CREATORS TOWN HALL: Clinton’s remarks begin at 6:21 here.

TRUMP CRITICIZES CLINTON’S PLAN TO GRANT GREEN CARD STATUS TO STEM DEGREE SEEKERS:

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)

VEEP WATCH

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)

WARREN DISSATISFIED WITH CANDIDATES FOR FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN SERVICING CONTRACTS:
(Source: Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Facebook account)

SENATE SPECIAL

NEVADA–ONE NATION AD TOUTS HECK’S SUPPORT FOR WIOA & INCREASING FUNDING FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL ED: Watch the ad here.

NEW HAMPSHIRE–NEW HASSAN AD TOUTS RECORD ON TUITION: Watch the ad here.

NORTH CAROLINA–IN NEW FB POST, BURR TOUTS IMPACT OF 2013 INTEREST RATE DEAL:
(Source: Sen. Richard Burr’s Twitter account)
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