Rep. John Kline to Retire | #FlipADistrict

Rep. John Kline to Retire | #FlipADistrict

Last September, Student Debt Crisis successfully nominated Rep. John Kline to Bill Maher’s #FlipADistrict Competition. Kline was chosen as America’s “Worst Congressman” and a campaign to flip his district followed. Today, one year later (almost to the date), Rep John Kline has announced that he will not seek reelection. On top of that, efforts to #FlipADistrict may prove successful as the Minnesota Star Tribune notes: “The district is changing and may be trending to the DFL [Democratic Party in Minnesota’s 2nd District], as President Obama won a majority of votes in 2012. The DFL have two candidates considered serious.” Rep. Kline refused to consider the Student Loan Forgiveness Act, which had over 1 million petition signers, and has accepted more contributions from for-profit universities than any other politician in America. “Kline didn’t just oppose the Student Loan Forgiveness Act, he actually wrote a bill to reduce the budget deficit by raising rates on student loans,” said Maher on his hit HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher. We agreed and responded, “he needs to be removed from office so that America can start to really solve our student loan crisis.” Today is a victory for everyone who is interested in seeing progress in America’s higher education policies. We are looking forward to positive movement in the future without Rep. Kline’s influence....
Private Colleges Are Offering Record Tuition Discounts to Win Students

Private Colleges Are Offering Record Tuition Discounts to Win Students

Where to find the biggest bargains. Those scarily high tuition prices most private colleges say they charge are increasingly as make-believe as Freddy Krueger: Only 11% of freshmen paid them last year, according to a survey of private colleges released today. The rest—89% of freshmen at private colleges—received a school grant or scholarship worth, on average, 54% of the published or “sticker” tuition, the National Association of College and University Business Officers reported. Both those numbers are all-time records. The survey indicates that colleges eager to recruit applicants are luring students with big grants— often labeled “merit scholarships” to flatter recipients, but in reality more like the discounts off of a retailer’s price tag. Continue Reading at...
Tennessee Students Start Classes Under Tuition-Free College Program

Tennessee Students Start Classes Under Tuition-Free College Program

This week, an expected 18,000 students—or nearly 1 in 4 recent high school graduates—in Tennessee will begin classes under a new state program that offers two years of free tuition at a state community or technical college. Nearly 80 percent of the state’s 74,000 high school graduates applied for the Tennessee Promise scholarship, according to the Associated Press. The scholarship provides tuition and fees not covered by the Pell grant, the state HOPE scholarship, or state student assistance funds. Mike Krause, the Tennessee Promise executive director, told the Tennessean that the process for applying for federal student aid is confusing and may have served as a barrier for some students. “There’s no doubt we need to continue to push for a simplified process,” he said. Of the 58,000 high school seniors that applied for the scholarship, about 31,500 filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms. Continue Reading at...
SDC Statement: Kamala Harris’ Consumer Alert to Student Loan Borrowers

SDC Statement: Kamala Harris’ Consumer Alert to Student Loan Borrowers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 24th, 2015 CONTACT: Natalia Abrams 646-820-8037 or 310-365-1069 natalia@studentdebtcrisis.org Student Debt Crisis’ Natalia Abrams – Executive Director’s Statement on California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris’ Consumer Alert  on Student Loan Debt Consolidation Scams On August 20th, Attorney General Kamala Harris issued a consumer alert to student loan borrowers to be aware of student loan debt consolidation scams – or “debt relief” companies. We are glad to see her office putting a spotlight on for-profit companies that use scare tactics to take advantage of struggling borrowers- who are only searching for relief from their high student loan payments. Harris stated: “Often times purporting to offer “student debt management” or “student loan consolidation” plans, private companies are charging borrowers upfront or monthly fees for FREE federal loan benefits. These companies may claim that they have a special relationship with the Department of Education, or that a special governmental loan consolidation will be ending soon, and will urge students to use their services in obtaining student loan consolidation or relief. Many times these companies will charge an initial application fee as well as a monthly service fee.” We are pleased and encouraged by Attorney General, Kamala Harris’ consumer alert. At Student Debt Crisis, it is our mission to reach out to struggling borrowers and inform them of federal options that are available free of charge. Earlier this year we created TheBorrowers.org with the AFL-CIO.  The Borrowers is an excellent place to start for people trying to repay student loans, learn about federal income driven repayment options, public service loan forgiveness and how to get out of default. “It is imperative for borrowers to know...
Enrollment in Student-Debt Relief Plans Surges

Enrollment in Student-Debt Relief Plans Surges

WASHINGTON—Americans are rapidly enrolling in programs to relieve student debt, a development the Obama administration credited for a decline in borrower defaults but also raises the risk of leaving taxpayers to cover a large share of loans. Enrollment in plans that cap student-debt payments as a share of borrowers’ incomes has grown 56% over the past year, the Education Department said Thursday. As of June 30, almost 3.9 million borrowers under the federal government’s main student-loan program were enrolled in the plans. The plans, known generally as “income-based repayment,” generally set payments at 10% or 15% of a borrower’s discretionary pay, defined as one’s adjusted gross income above 150% of the federal poverty level. Many borrowers reduce their monthly bills by hundreds of dollars under the plans… Continue Reading at Wall Street...
STATEMENT from Student Debt Crisis on Sec. Hillary Clinton’s College Affordability Plan

STATEMENT from Student Debt Crisis on Sec. Hillary Clinton’s College Affordability Plan

STATEMENT from Natalia Abrams, Executive Director of Student Debt Crisis, on Sec. Hillary Clinton’s New College Compact – College Affordability Plan Student Debt Crisis is encouraged by today’s announcement of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s new college affordability plan. Following previous proposals from Governor Martin O’Malley and Senator Bernie Sanders, we are gratified that all three major Democratic presidential candidates have committed to addressing student debt and lowering the cost of higher education. This progress demonstrates that the issue of student loan debt and higher education has come a long way since the last presidential election. With respect to Sec. Clinton’s plan, we are discouraged by the lack of attention given to relieve existing borrowers from their crippling student loan debt. While we are appreciative of her support for refinancing student loans and agree that state disinvestment has been a large contributor to the increase in tuition prices, Sec. Clinton’s plan does not nearly go far enough and isn’t the “bold transformation” we had hoped she would deliver. At Student Debt Crisis, it is our job to continue to push our leaders until we have a comprehensive plan that helps existing borrowers as much as prospective students. That’s why we must continue to fight for total debt-free college and the cancellation of outstanding student loan debt. —————–   With over 1.2 million members calling to forgive student loan debt, Student Debt Crisis is deeply committed to reforming the way we pay for higher education in America.   Click Here to Read More  Click Here to Watch Sec. Hillary Clinton new video on Student...