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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (August 12, 2015): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (August 12, 2015)

453 days to go…

Morning folks! Between last week’s debate and Clinton’s policy unveiling, let’s get right to it. With the gauntlet being thrown down and developments occurring by the hour, share Millennial Memo online and make sure your colleagues and friends sign up to receive the newsletter here.

CLINTON UNVEILS 350 BILLION COLLEGE COMPACT PLAN–FOCUSING ON STATE DISINVESTMENT: The Associated Press’s Lisa Lerer reports: “Calling for a ‘new college compact,’ Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday will unveil a $350 billion plan aimed at making college more affordable and reducing the crushing burden of student debt… The proposal centers on a $200 billion federal incentive system aimed at encouraging states to expand their investments in higher education and cut student costs. States that guarantee ‘no-loan’ tuition at four-year public schools and free tuition at community colleges will be eligible to receive federal funds… For most students, their families will still be expected to make a “realistic” contribution, say Clinton’s aides, and students will contribute wages from ten hours of work per week.”

PROPOSAL INCLUDES REFINANCING, REPAYMENT REFORM: Lerer continues: “Those currently repaying loans would be able to refinance their outstanding debt at lower rates, a change Clinton’s aides say will save an average of $2,000 for 25 million borrowers over the life of the loan — an amount that equal to just about $17 month over a ten year repayment period. She would also expand income-based repayment programs, allowing every student borrower to enroll in a plan that would cap their payments at 10 percent of their income with remaining debt forgiven after 20 years.”

IN EFFORT TO BOOST COMPLETION, CLINTON WOULD EXPAND CAMPUS CHILD CARE: According to the Washington Post’s Danielle Douglas-Gabriel and Anne Gearan, “Clinton would offer grants to schools that invest in child care, emergency financial aid and other interventions to boost completion.” The proposal would also “allow federal student aid to be used for online career training programs offering badges or certificates, rather than degrees.”


From Bush: “This irresponsible proposal would raise taxes, increase government debt, and double-down on the failed Obama economic policies that have led to a ‘new normal’ of sluggish economic growth, rising college costs spurred by Washington, and limited opportunities for all Americans – including recent college graduates. We don’t need more top-down Washington solutions that will raise the cost of college even further and shift the burden to hardworking taxpayers.  We need to change the incentives for colleges with fresh policies that result in more individualization and choices, drive down overall costs, and improve the value of a college degree, which will help lead to real, sustained four-percent economic growth.”

From Rubio: ““This is the thing they always do on the left,” Rubio said. “She has to figure out who to raise taxes on—so this is about making doing business in America even more expensive—raising taxes, and then taking all that money and pouring it into an outdated higher education system… Rubio called traditional colleges “20th century” and “outdated” and suggested money would be better spent on online degrees and alternative forms of higher education that provide “competition” to traditional universities.”

From Huckabee: “While @HillaryClinton proposes government bailouts for states, government handouts for schools and band-aides for irresponsibility… $350 billion in new government spending is no way to solve a college debt crisis that is crushing American families… Higher education, like K-12, is a state function, not a federal one. And Governors can deal with this far better than @HillaryClinton.”

From Christie: Clinton’s “plan doesn’t actually address rising tuition costs… We need transparency, accountability & innovation in higher education reform.”

RUBIO USES PERSONAL STUDENT DEBT STORY TO SUGGEST GENERATIONAL CONTRAST WITH CLINTON: During last week’s first Republican debate hosted by Fox News, Senator Marco Rubio said: “This election had better be about the future, not the past… If I’m our nominee, how is Hillary Clinton going to lecture me about… student loans? I owed over a hundred thousand dollars just four years ago. If I’m our nominee, we will be the party of the future.”

HILLARY CALLS OUT GOP OPPONENTS ON NOT ADDRESSING COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY IN DEBATE: The Washington Post’s Anna Gearan reports that at an event in New Hampshire yesterday, Secretary Clinton said, “I bet some of you might have sat through four hours and 17 candidates of debates… It’s part of being in New Hampshire, I know you’ve got an obligation… But if you haven’t seen it, there was not one word from one of those candidates about making college affordable or dealing with debt… I think this is a major challenge, and I want us to address it. Not one word from the other side.”

DURING DEBATE, STUDENTS FOR WALKER PITCH THE GOVERNOR AS A TUITION FREEZER THROUGH TWITTER ADS: Also during the debate, a group called Students for [Governor Scott] Walker, a contingent of pro-Walker students at universities across Wisconsin, ran a promoted tweet reading: “Scott Walker has stood for students by freezing tuition and working towards an open economy. Now we’re standing with him! #gopdebate.”  (Screengrab, Twitter account: Walker_Students)


JEB AND HILLARY’S HIGHER ED TWITTER WAR: On Monday, former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) tweeted a graphic at Hillary Clinton reading: “100% — the increase in student debt under this Democratic White House. Hillary Clinton: mortgaging the future of college grads for 4 more years.” Quick to respond, the Clinton camp tweeted back a similar graphic on Governor Bush’s college affordability record. The tweet reads: “@JebBush fixed it for you” and includes a graphic highlighting that, in 2006 (Bush’s last full year in office), the Center for Public Policy and Higher Education gave Florida an “F” grade for college affordability.

CLINTON SPOX NAMES WALKER “POSTER CHILD FOR THE PROBLEM” HRC’S COMPACT AIMS TO FIX: At an event at River Valley Community College in Claremont, NH yesterday, Politico’s Gabriel Debenedetti reports Clinton said of Walker, he seems “to be delighted at slashing the investment in higher education in his state, in making it more difficult for students to get scholarships or to pay off their debt, eliminating the opportunities for young people who are doctors or dentists to actually work in underserved areas in return for having their debt relieved, ending scholarships for poor kids. And most surprisingly to me, [Walker rejected] legislation that would have made it tax deductible for you on your income tax to deduct the amount of your loan payment. I don’t know why he wants to raise taxes on students, but that is the result.” Shortly after Clinton’s remarks, press secretary Brian Fallon tweeted: “Scott Walker’s record of slashing aid to colleges in WI makes him the poster child for the problem Hillary Clinton’s College Compact aims to fix.”

WALKER RESPONDS BY SELLING RECORD ON TUITION WHILE SLAMMING CLINTON FOR CHARGING UNIVERSITIES SPEAKING FEES: Shortly after Secretary Clinton’s remarks, Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) responded personally on Twitter with the tweet: “.@HillaryClinton I’ve frozen in-state tuition rates for four years, while you charged colleges $225K+ just to show up. -SW”.

MEASURING UP MILLENNIALS: Two words you’ll hear a lot today: Franklin Pierce. We’re all polled out after digging through all the surveys in the lead up to the Fox debate. Look for more Millennial-specific polling next week.