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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (September 16, 2015): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (September 16, 2015)

418 days to go…

Good Wednesday morning and happy debate day, everyone! Most of the reporting ahead of tonight’s debate suggests that candidates are preparing to tear each other apart, but when it comes to targeting Millennials, campaigns are busy building up quite the outreach force. Be sure to share this week’s Millennial Memo with your colleagues and friends, and sign up for updates here.

TRUMP’S LAWYER SAYS THE DONALD WAS “INTIMATELY INVOLVED” IN TRUMP UNIVERSITY’S PRACTICES: According to the Washington Post’s Emma Brown, New York Attorney General Eric “Schneiderman alleged that the program’s instructors had no particular expertise in real estate and that the seminars didn’t offer any special Trump strategies; he found that the curriculum was largely written by a third-party company that creates materials for motivational speakers and salesmen. None of that is true, said Garten, Trump’s lawyer. Trump was ‘intimately involved in all of this,’ Garten said, vetting résumés of potential instructors, offering suggestions about what should be taught and helping create case studies based on his own real estate acquisitions.”

WHY STUDENT DEBT IS A TURNOUT ISSUE–MANY BORROWERS WOULD GO TO EXTREME LENGTHS TO PAY OFF DEBT: “Some people would go great lengths to have their student loan debts forgiven, according to a small survey by The survey said that 30 percent of respondents would sell one of their organs if it meant no more student debt. The personal finance website also said that 43 percent would sell half of their possessions while 38 percent said they would participate in a questionable health study.” (CNBC, 9/11/2015)

BUSH LAUNCHES POLITICAL NETWORK FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS: CNN’s Ashley Killough reports: “Hoping to boost support among millennials, Jeb Bush’s team is announcing a political network for college students in support of his presidential bid, with 135 campus chapters already in place across 36 states. The network, ‘Mission:Next Campus,’ kicks off with the start of the school year and builds onto an existing program, “Mission:Next” that focuses on people under the age of 40 who want to help with fundraising and other campaign efforts. The initiative is run by Bush’s two sons, Jeb Bush, Jr. and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who’ve been active on the campaign trail. College-aged voters can be influential in early voting states like Iowa, which has more than 130,000 students at four-year colleges alone, according to the 2013 Iowa College and University Enrollment Report.”

BUT HE’S NOT THE ONLY ONE, PAUL TOUTS STUDENT SUPPORT AS WELL: “Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul announced Friday while speaking at Iowa State University that his campaign had met its goal of establishing 300 student groups within 30 days…  According to press release from Paul’s campaign, 339 Students for Rand chapters had been established nationwide… According to the Des Moines Register, Paul ‘made it clear’ that he ‘considers college students an integral part of his campaign’ while speaking at ISU Friday night.” (The Blaze, 9/12/2015)

POLITIFACT RATES CLINTON’S CLAIM THAT WALKER RAISED TAXES ON STUDENTS AS “FALSE”: “Clinton said Walker rejected legislation to make college loan payments tax deductible and the result was ‘to raise taxes on students.’ The Republican governor hasn’t stated support for Democratic-sponsored measures that would have provided the tax deduction, but he has never rejected such legislation, either. Since Walker has been in office, the measures have never been approved by the GOP-controlled Legislature and therefore have never been sent to the governor’s desk. Moreover, failing to pass legislation that would have provided a tax deduction doesn’t mean that taxes on student loan borrowers were increased. We rate Clinton’s statement False.” (Politifact, 9/9/2015)

RUBIO CAMP RELEASES VIDEO OUTLINING CASE FOR REFORMING HIGHER EDUCATION: Professor Rubio was back at the white board this week. On Monday, the Rubio campaign released a new web video highlighting the Florida Senator’s case for why America’s Education System Needs a Disruption and how he would shake things up. Check it out here:

WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO FAFSA: The Washington Post’s Danielle Douglas reports: “Instead of students waiting until January to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, long after many have applied to college, they will be able to complete the form three months earlier. Students will also be able to electronically retrieve and use tax information from two years earlier, rather than wait until tax season to complete the form known as the FAFSA… For millions of students, receiving financial aid makes all the difference in paying for college. The government and colleges use the FAFSA to determine need-based and some merit-based aid. The sooner students turn in the form the better their chances of qualifying for more money since some states award aid on a first-come, first-served basis.”

IN LIBERTY SPEECH, SANDERS SLAMS REPUBLICANS FOR $90 BILLION IN PELL GRANT BUDGET CUTS: Speaking at Liberty University this past Monday before thousands of students, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said: “At a time when many families cannot afford to send their kids to college,.. I am running on a program that says that every public college and university should be tuition-free. At a time families cannot afford to send their kids to college, Republicans voted for $90 billion in budget cuts to the Pell Grant over a 10-year period… all while the Republicans provided over $250 billion over a 10-year period in tax breaks for the top two tenths of one percent. I don’t think that is a moral budget.” (CSPAN, 9/14/2015)

CLINTON ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR MEASURES TO COMBAT CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT: Yahoo Politics’ Caitlin Dickson reports: “Hillary Clinton pledged to tackle campus sexual assault during a speech at the University of Northern Iowa on Monday… The proposals Clinton outlined — including more comprehensive on-campus resources for survivors, fairer investigative and disciplinary processes for both accusers and the accused, and increased preventive education — echo those outlined by President Obama as well as Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and others who support the bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA).”

POTUS IS HOPING TO ELEVATE HIGHER ED IN 2016 NATIONAL CONVERSATION: Newlywed Allie Grasgreen Ciaramella of Politico Pro reports “Administration officials have dodged questions about the political significance of President Barack Obama traveling to Des Moines, Iowa – where the 2016 campaign just so happens to be in full swing – to discuss the new College Scorecard and changes to the FAFSA… But Press Secretary Josh Earnest [offered], ‘The president would really like to see a robust debate in the context of the 2016 campaign about what we can do to strengthen our economy and open up a college education to more middle class students.’”

SENATE SPECIAL–PORTMAN TARGETS STUDENTS ON INSTAGRAM, OTHER SOCIAL PLATFORMS: “[Sen. Rob Portman’s] campaign announced student chairs at 18 different schools, including The Ohio State University, one of the largest public universities in the country. The pitch to student voters also included a sponsored Instagram ad – the first time a Senate campaign has sponsored an advertisement on the popular social media app, according to the release. The ad was launched over the weekend to coincide with the first home football game for the Ohio State Buckeyes, the top-ranked team in the country, and featured four students doing the popular O-H-I-O pose outside the football stadium, with a link to join the newly launched student initiative. The campaign said other ads targeted at different colleges in the state will run later in the week… In addition to the new coalition and Instagram ads, the campaign launched a minute-long video featuring students from different schools throughout the state telling why they support the Republican senator, which will run on Facebook and Twitter. The social media blitz is a way for Portman to connect with young voters who were under 18 when he was last elected five years ago, and were teenagers during the years his likely opponent, Ted Strickland, was governor of the state… All of the advertisements – and the statements from the students joining the campaign – focus around a single message: jobs and the economy.” (RealClearPolitics, 9/14/2015)

DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATES FUNDRAISE ON HIGHER ED: Since the middle of last week, at least three Democratic Senate candidates have sent out email fundraising appeals that specifically spotlight their efforts to make college more affordable and reduce the burden of student debt. The Senators include: Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, former Senator and candidate Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, and candidate Rep. Patrick Murphy of Florida. Though not up for re-election this cycle, Senator Heidi Heitkamp also sent out a similar appeal.

MEASURING UP MILLENNIALS: A new Public Policy Polling poll of Florida voters finds Hillary Clinton edging out her Republican opponents among 18- to 29-year-olds by greater margins than Senator Bernie Sanders and Vice President Joe Biden, except for against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Here is how the candidates matchup among 18- to 29-year-old Florida voters:
Clinton 48, Bush 34 (Clinton +14)
Sanders 49, Bush 40 (Sanders +9)
Biden 44, Bush 48 (Bush +4)
Clinton 51, Bush 19, Trump 20 (Clinton +31)
Clinton 46, Trump 44 (Clinton +2)
Biden 54, Trump 32 (Biden +22)
Sanders 52, Trump 33 (Sanders +19)
Clinton 56, Carson 34 (Clinton +22)
Sanders 38, Carson 42 (Carson +4)
Clinton 49, Fiorina 36 (Clinton +13)
Sanders 44, Fiorina 32 (Sanders +12)
Clinton 40, Walker 46 (Walker +6)
Sanders 46, Walker 43 (Sanders +3)
Clinton 48, Huckabee 37 (Clinton +9)
Clinton 48, Kasich 36 (Clinton +8)
Clinton 47, Rubio 41 (Clinton +6)
Clinton 54, Cruz 32 (Clinton +22)


Major Malfunction: Racial disparities in college major selection, Young Invincibles, Tom Allison, Konrad Mugglestone & Kendall Foster