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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (September 30, 2015): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (September 30, 2015)

404 days to go…

Good morning! With Pope-mania and the United Nations seizing America’s attention this past week, it’s been a fairly quiet week on the campaign trail. Expect that to change with Q3 fundraising and cash on hand numbers starting to trickle out come week’s end. Share this week’s Millennial Memo with your colleagues and friends, and sign up for updates here.

CLINTON VOICES SUPPORT FOR STUDENT DEBT FORGIVENESS AFTER 20 YEARS OF PAYMENTS: In an interview with Lena Dunham last week, Clinton said, “[student debt] is one of our biggest problems… We have $1.2 trillion in student debt and this is an enormous problem. I want to give everybody a chance to refinance that debt. Bring the interest rates down. And I want to put a time certain deadline [so] that after 20 years, you don’t have to keep paying it. Now if you don’t pay and there’s no good reason why you couldn’t or didn’t pay, yeah it will go for longer. But for most kids who get out of school with this debt and then they get into their working lives, they try to pay their debt down, but at a certain point it is counterproductive.”

IN NEW TV AD, CLINTON HITS REPUBLICANS FOR NOT SUPPORTING STUDENT LOAN REFINANCING: In a new Clinton campaign TV ad called “Get Ahead”, Clinton says: “if you work hard and you do your part you should be able to get ahead and stay ahead, but the Republicans they want to go back to letting the super-wealthy call the shots… they don’t even really support refinancing student debt we gotta get this economy working for the vast majority of Americans not just for those at the top.”

BERNIE’S STUDENT LOAN REFINANCING PLAN CONVERTS IOWA REPUBLICAN: According to Iowa Public Radio: “Elizabeth Gaffney, a high school teacher from Baxter, has already heard Bernie Sanders, once in Ames, and again on the soapbox at the State Fair. She is new to Democratic politics. ‘I used to be a Republican,’ Gaffney says.  ‘Bernie’s made me a convert.’ Gaffney has big student loans so she likes Sanders’ plan to refinance student debt.”

CLINTON DINGS BERNIE’S TUITION-FREE COLLEGE PLAN AS GIVEAWAY TO THE WEALTHY: In an interview with the Des Moines Register Editorial Board last week, Secretary Clinton responded to Senator Sanders’ tuition-free college plan. Clinton said: “I am not going to give free college to wealthy kids. I’m not going to give free college to kids who don’t work some hours to try to put their own effort into their education. I think this has to be a compact, which is why I call it that, where everybody has to contribute… [Experts] support my plan because they think it makes everybody put some skin in the game.”

WEBB SAYS FOCUS SHOULD BE ON BOOSTING HS COMPLETION AND ADULT EDUCATION BEFORE TALKING STUDENT DEBT: In an appearance at a rural town hall hosted by RFD-TV, Senator Webb said: “When I see people talking about the student loan uh issue, uh I agree that it is an important issue, but on the other hand, there’s…in…in terms of educating our country, there are two other issues we don’t talk about enough. The first is that only about 75% of our high school students finish high school.  So you’ve got 25% of your high school students who…who don’t even get into a place where they can continue in education and they fall by the wayside.  And the second is adult education.  Um when somebody falls by the wayside, and I focused on this a lot when I was in the Senate.  Let’s say you’re 16, 17 years old and I…I saw it so much when I was a kid.  Somebody would get rebellious and say I don’t need this and quit school uh or…or someone gets pregnant and…and can’t uh finish school.  They get to be about 28, 29 years old and…and you start saying what am I going to do the rest of my life?  Have I ruined the rest of my life? Uh and we need to…to emphasize more and I did this when I was in the Senate what I call onramp programs, second chance programs for people who haven’t even gotten into the situation where we can talk about uh, you know, a college education and the student loan issue.”

WEBB TOUTS WORK ON 21st CENTURY GI BILL & WONDERS WHAT IS DRIVING TUITION INCREASES: At the same event, Senator Webb continued: “With respect to the student loans themselves, first, I wrote, introduced and passed in 16 months the best GI bill in American history.  Um I was talking about this before I ever ran for the Senate, that uh you say this is the next greatest generation, how about giving them the same kind of GI bill that the people who fought in World War II had, pay their tuition, buy their books, give them a monthly stipend.  And they told us we couldn’t…we couldn’t do and…and we built a coalition across party lines and pushed it through and…and got it through in 16 months.  Now more than a million of our veterans, post 9/11 veterans, have been able to use that and when you look at the student loan crisis itself, you have to ask yourself, what has happened that makes these tuition levels so high in the first place and that’s something that needs to be looked at.”

GET YOUR SNAP QUESTIONS READY, IA & NH STUDENT VOTERS: On Tuesday, CNN reported that “BuzzFeed is launching an interview series with 2016 presidential candidates… Hillary Clinton is the first candidate to confirm her participation in the ‘BuzzFeed News Candidate College Tour,’ according to the site. The tour itself is being announced on Monday, to coincide with the app’s release on Android devices… The idea is to have two political journalists interview a candidate at each stop of the tour. The events will be staged in early voting states in October and November… [BuzzFeed] is opting against having a television partner for this fall’s campus tour. Instead it’ll share video clips via Snapchat… ‘Snapchat is a broadcaster for this generation of students who may never subscribe to a newspaper or watch cable news,’ BuzzFeed editor in chief Ben Smith said. ‘So we’ll do lots of things like solicit questions from our followers and put content into our Discover channel.’”

IN NC, POLLS SHOW CLINTON BESTS TRUMP ON PROMOTING EDUCATION: A recent poll of North Carolinians from High Point University found Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holding a commanding 61-26 percent lead over Donald Trump among survey respondents asked which candidate would best handle the job of promoting education. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 4.9 percent.


Not Worth It?, Inside Higher Ed, Jake New