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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (February 24, 2016): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (February 24, 2016)

257 days to go…

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas… maybe. Buckle up, Super Tuesday is right around the corner. Lawsuits, policy promises, and more — this week’s Millennial Memo has a wrap up everything you need to know. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to sign up for updates here. Have a tip? Drop me a line.

TRUMP ON WITNESS LIST & COULD HAVE TO TESTIFY PUBLICLY IN CASE AGAINST TRUMP UNIVERSITY: “This spring, just as the GOP nomination battle enters its final phase, frontrunner Donald Trump could be forced to take time out for some unwanted personal business: He’s due to take the witness stand in a federal courtroom in San Diego, where he is being accused of running a financial fraud. In court filings last Friday, lawyers for both sides in a long-running civil lawsuit over the now defunct Trump University named Trump on their witness lists. That makes it all but certain that the reality-show star and international businessman will be forced to be grilled under oath over allegations in the lawsuit that he engaged in deceptive trade practices and scammed thousands of students who enrolled in his ‘university’ courses in response to promises he would make them rich in the real estate market. ‘….'” (, 2/23/2016)

CLINTON CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTS STUDENT DEBT PROPOSALS: The Clinton campaign released a new video called College Debt, deputizing Olympic medalist and Hillary Outreach Coordinator Michelle Kwan and staffer Vivek Viswanathan.  Kwan and Viswanathan detail Clinton’s 5 plank plan to address student debt: 1) allow borrowers to refinance for today’s lower interest rates; 2) make it easier for borrowers to sign up for income-based repayment and cap monthly payments at 10 percent of a borrower’s income; 3) cracking down on abusive debt collectors; 4) expand national service in exchange for debt relief programs; 5) allow borrowers starting a business to forgo payments and accrue no interest for 3 years.

RUBIO SAYS HE IS ONLY GOP-ER WHO TALKS ABOUT STUDENT DEBT “ALL THE TIME”: Speaking at a rally in Minnesota last week, when talking about the issues he is focused on, Rubio said: “‘I’m the only Republican who talks about student loan debt all the time,’ Rubio said, adding he finally paid off his own college loans just three years ago.” (Star Tribune, 2/23/2016).

REPORTS–KASICH SAYS HE IS OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS ON STUDENT DEBT: According to WZZM’s Mackenzie Thaden, at a campaign event last week, Governor Kasich said he “doesn’t have the answer to student debt yet, but is open to suggestions.” RealClearPolitics’ reporter James Arkin tweeted a similar line from Kasich in response to a question on student loans. According to Arkin, Kasich said that [we] must do something about student debt while also acknowledging that he doesn’t know what that something is.

CLINTON PLEDGES TO UNVEIL NEW NATIONAL SERVICE PROGRAMS IN COMING DAYS: Clinton reiterated a “sense of urgency/action oriented” sales pitch during her Nevada Caucus victory speech on Saturday. Speaking to supporters, Clinton said: “I want to say this to all the young people out there. I know what you’re up against. If you left college with a ton of loans, it’s not enough just to make college more affordable. You need help right now with the debt you already have. That’s why I have a plan to cut your interest rates, and cap payments so you never have to pay more than you can afford. But, I want you to think about this. It can’t be just about what we’re going to give to you, it has to be what we’re going to build together. Your generation is the most tolerant, and connected our country has ever seen. In the days ahead we will propose new ways for more Americans to get involved in national service and give back to our communities because everyone of us has a role to play in building the future we want.”

AHEAD OF NEVADA DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS, SANDERS PROMISES TO MAKE DREAMERS ELIGIBLE FOR HIS TUITION-FREE COLLEGE PLAN: In an exclusive interview with Entravision, “Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders said that large corporations and Wall Street will pay education of all Americans, including Dreamers, if he is elected to the White House. ‘I’ve been talking about colleges and universities are free and that should be for all people, including the Dreamers… My vision is not only the first through twelfth grade but includes college.’”

IN 2016 MID-BIENNIUM REVIEW, KASICH ASKS OH DEPT OF HIGHER ED TO LOOK AT INCOME-SHARE AGREEMENTS: In his 2016 Mid-Biennium Review report, the Kasich Administration indicated that the Governor would call for a “new study by the Ohio Department of Higher Education will look at income-sharing agreements as a possible strategy to help students avoid or lessen the burden of student loan debt.” Read about more of the Governor’s proposals here.

MEASURING UP MILLENNIALS: According to a new survey of 18- to 26-year-olds from Frank Luntz finds “75% of young people think they will do better financially than their parents, including one in four who think they’ll do ‘a lot better.’ Only 6% say they’ll do ‘worse.’” Luntz exclaims: “This is important. It’s a seismic shift in electorate mentality, a schism between generations that could have huge impacts for many elections to come. And it is completely contrary to our own polling last year, when 54% of Americans said their children and the next generation will do WORSE than they did. This isn’t a perception gap. It’s a chasm.” Collectively, 40 percent of these voters identify “education” and “student debt” as the most pressing issue facing America. The next highest scoring issues are income inequality (28%) and national security & terrorism (22%).

REPUBLICAN YOUTH SET TURNOUT RECORD IN SOUTH CAROLINA, VOTE FOR CRUZ: 73,792 young (ages 17 to 29) South Carolinians participated in this past Saturday’s Republican primary — up from 54,105 in 2012. 28 percent of these young voters supported Cruz, 26 percent supported Trump, and 22 percent supported Rubio. Relative to their overall levels of support, Cruz overperformed and Trump underperformed with these young voters by roughly 6 percent a piece. (CIRCLE, 2/21/2016)

REPUBLICAN YOUTH ALSO SET TURNOUT RECORD IN NEVADA CAUCUSES: 5,265 young (ages 17 to 29) Nevada voters participated in yesterday evening’s Republican caucuses. While this sets a record raw number of young people turning out for the GOP caucuses, young people made up just 7 percent of caucusgoers — down from 11 percent in 2008. Rubio won the support of 37 percent of young caucusgoers, besting his overall support level by 13 percentage points. On the contrary, Trump won 31 percent of young caucusgoers, underperforming his overall support level by 15 percentage points. (CIRCLE, 2/24/2016)

SHARE OF NEVADA DEMOCRATIC CAUCUSGOERS BEING YOUNG SURGED 38 PERCENT SINCE 2008: Roughly 14,400 Nevada Democrats ages 17 to 29 turned out for Saturday’s caucuses — nearly replicating young Democratic turnout in 2008. This year, young Democrats made up 18 percent of caucusgoers. In 2008, young Democrats made up only 13 percent of caucusgoers. (CIRCLE, 2/24/2016)