Student Debt Crisis http://studentdebtcrisis.org Your One Stop Hub For Student Debt Issues Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:36:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Student Debt Crisis WINS Real Time with Bill Maher’s #FlipADistrict Competition http://studentdebtcrisis.org/student-debt-crisis%ef%bb%bf-wins-real-time-with-bill-maher%ef%bb%bfs-flipadistrict-competition/ http://studentdebtcrisis.org/student-debt-crisis%ef%bb%bf-wins-real-time-with-bill-maher%ef%bb%bfs-flipadistrict-competition/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:52:49 +0000 http://studentdebtcrisis.org/?p=2080 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 16th, 2014

CONTACT: Natalia Abrams

310-365-1069 – natalia@studentdebtcrisis.org

Student Debt Crisis on Real Time with Bill Maher’s #FlipADistrict competition, and his nomination of Rep. John Kline (R-MN2).

On Friday, September 12th, Bill Maher held a special live broadcast of his program “Real Time with Bill Maher” to announce the congressman who deserved to lose in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections. After months of social media campaigning, Student Debt Crisis is proud to announce that their “candidate”, Rep. John Kline, has been chosen as the winner of the #FlipADistrict competition.

Next, Bill Maher pledged to contribute to the defeat of Minnesota’s Kline in November.

Student Debt Crisis capitalized on Rep. John Kline’s reputation with for-profit colleges, along with other student loan debt issues, to raise a powerful online presence that caught the eye of the television host. Maher said , “the issue Mr. Kline is worst at is the one that inspired the most votes in our contest…student debt.”  The efforts of Student Debt Crisis drove the #FlipADistrict’s twitter campaign; by the time of Friday’s announcement, the group’s hashtag #FireKline was responsible for over 25% of the competition’s total twitter traffic, demonstrating strong public support for student loan reform.

“We are please to see Rep. John Kline win Bill Maher’s Flip A District campaign. As the chairman of the House Education and Workforce committee, Rep. John Kline has consistently let down millions of student loan borrowers.” Natalia Abrams, Executive Director – Student Debt Crisis

The recent increasing public interest in student loan reform has proven key to Student Debt Crisis’ success at motivating voters. Along with their successful social media efforts, the group engaged in a large, nation-wide email campaign to their membership base, which created a noticeable stir in the #FlipADistrict competition which was the edge that helped them bring Kline, and student loan debt, to the forefront of Bill Maher’s Friday night show.

It was Student Debt Crisis and their allies, who rallied in support of student loan borrower, and highlighted Kline’s disappointing record, as head of the Education and Workforce Committee. Bill Maher made sure to echo these organizations in their call for higher education reform, and the host spent a great deal of time discussing how Kline had abandoned the student borrowers he swore to protect. “He’s the champion of for-profit colleges”, the host labeled Kline before attacking the representatives’ dubious campaign contributions from the University of Phoenix. He took note of many of the issues that Student Debt Crisis raised in their enthusiastic email and social media campaign to unseat Rep. John Kline.

Watch Bill Maher’s Announcement Here..

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Virtual Town Hall: Mike Obermueller Talks “Refinancing Student Loans” http://studentdebtcrisis.org/virtual-town-hall-mike-obermueller-talks-refinancing-student-loans/ http://studentdebtcrisis.org/virtual-town-hall-mike-obermueller-talks-refinancing-student-loans/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 11:38:25 +0000 http://studentdebtcrisis.org/?p=2073 Last week, Student Debt Crisis invited the two candidates of Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District to participate in a Virtual Town Hall. We invited Rep. John Kline and Mike Obermueller to submit filmed responses to our questions regarding our nations growing higher education debt, and their policy ideas for solving what is now Americans’ second largest debt. You may remember Rep. Kline, because he has been our nominee for Bill Maher’s #FlipADistrict campaign, and he’s currently a leader in the race because of his disinterest in helping student borrowers. He refused to be involved in our project. However, Mr. Obermueller was gracious enough to submit his thoughtful answers, and SDC.org is sharing them with its members to enhance the national debate over the student debt crisis.

Watch more of Mike Obermueller’s answers here:
“For-Profit Colleges”
“Students as Profit Centers”

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Virtual Town Hall: Mike Obermueller Talks “Students As Profit Centers” http://studentdebtcrisis.org/virtual-town-hall-mike-obermueller-talks-students-as-profit-centers/ http://studentdebtcrisis.org/virtual-town-hall-mike-obermueller-talks-students-as-profit-centers/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 11:32:40 +0000 http://studentdebtcrisis.org/?p=2071 Last week, Student Debt Crisis invited the two candidates of Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District to participate in a Virtual Town Hall. We invited Rep. John Kline and Mike Obermueller to submit filmed responses to our questions regarding our nations growing higher education debt, and their policy ideas for solving what is now Americans’ second largest debt. You may remember Rep. Kline, because he has been our nominee for Bill Maher’s #FlipADistrict campaign, and he’s currently a leader in the race because of his disinterest in helping student borrowers. He refused to be involved in our project. However, Mr. Obermueller was gracious enough to submit his thoughtful answers, and SDC.org is sharing them with its members to enhance the national debate over the student debt crisis.

Watch more of Mike Obermueller’s answers here:
“For-Profit Colleges”
“Refinancing Student Loans”

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Virtual Town Hall: Mike Obermueller Talks “For-Profit Schools” http://studentdebtcrisis.org/virtual-town-hall-mike-obermueller-talks-for-profit-schools/ http://studentdebtcrisis.org/virtual-town-hall-mike-obermueller-talks-for-profit-schools/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 11:28:58 +0000 http://studentdebtcrisis.org/?p=2067 Last week, Student Debt Crisis invited the two candidates of Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District to participate in a Virtual Town Hall. We invited Rep. John Kline and Mike Obermueller to submit filmed responses to our questions regarding our nations growing higher education debt, and their policy ideas for solving what is now Americans’ second largest debt. You may remember Rep. Kline, because he has been our nominee for Bill Maher’s #FlipADistrict campaign, and he’s currently a leader in the race because of his disinterest in helping student borrowers. He refused to be involved in our project. However, Mr. Obermueller was gracious enough to submit his thoughtful answers, and SDC.org is sharing them with its members to enhance the national debate over the student debt crisis.

Watch more of Mike Obermueller’s responses here:
“Students as Profit Centers”
“Refinancing Student Debt”

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5 Obvious Reasons We Need to #FIREKLINE http://studentdebtcrisis.org/5-obvious-reasons-we-need-to-firekline/ http://studentdebtcrisis.org/5-obvious-reasons-we-need-to-firekline/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 18:58:03 +0000 http://studentdebtcrisis.org/?p=2048 Time is finally running out for Bill Maher’s #FlipADistrict competition. The host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher has promised to help flip the district of America’s worst congressman. Because of Minnesota’s Rep. John Kline, hard-working Americans have had their student loan interest rates rise, and the prospects of a successful future dwindle. As head of the Education and Workforce Committee, John Kline’s policies are failing millions of Americans, and its time that we flip his district! With all of your support we have kept him leading the race, but its not over yet! We need to keep tweeting to #FlipADistrict until Friday, September 12th, when Bill Maher will announce the winner!

Here’s another 5 OBVIOUS reasons we need to #FireKline!

1. Despite Being Head of the Education and Workforce Committee, Kline Has Received “0%” or “F” Grades on Every Ranking From the National Education Association Since 2005.

You would think the head of the Education and Workforce Committee would have an appreciation for passing grades. Nope! Since 2005, John Kline has had a GPA of 0.0 when it comes to his rankings from the National Education Association. Not surprising, considering he has long supported profitable schools over those that actually teach!

 

2. John Kline is Patently Opposed to Workplace Equality For Women.

John Kline has had a consistent record denying women workplace equality. The National Association of Women Workers called some of his policies “wolf in sheeps clothing”. He voted against both the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Pay Equity Act, while also restricting women’s ability to file equal pay lawsuits. John Kline will clearly take any angle he can to fight against the women of Minnesota!

 

3.  John Kline Fights Against Student Loan Reform, Because His Top Campaign Donors Are Dishonest For-profit Colleges.

For-profit colleges are the number one contributors to John Kline’s campaign efforts; which explain why he continues to vote against borrowers’ interests. Surely, for-profit colleges (that have the highest student debt rates, lowest graduation rates, and provide subpar educations) are not expecting the committee head to kick back any favors in return!

 

4. His Student Loan Policies Are Called “Just Plain Stupid” By His Constituents.

John Kline’s “smarter” solution for student debt… doubling interest rates?! The people of Minnesota have another word for it, “just plain stupid”! John Kline’s state has the nation’s third largest student debt average, yet he thinks he can outsmart us, so his friends can make huge profits. What an idiot!

 

5. Labor Unions and Workers’ Rights Organizations HATE John Kline!

What’s worse than Brad Pitt hating you? How about heading the Workforce committee and having unions and workers’ groups HATE your policies. John Kline is blindly opposed to any pro-union legislation. Recently, Kline has shot down the Employee Free Choice Act, and he continuously supports bills that slow down union elections. John Kline’s next target is blocking student-workers’ unions and student-athlete unionization.

 CLICK HERE to TWEET YOUR VOTE FOR JOHN KLINE!

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Despite Accusations Of Fraud And Deception, Will Globe University Be Expanding To Your State? http://studentdebtcrisis.org/globe-university-expanding-to-18-states/ http://studentdebtcrisis.org/globe-university-expanding-to-18-states/#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 02:08:44 +0000 http://studentdebtcrisis.org/?p=2002 Globe University, minnesota school of business, flip a district, fire kline, retire kline,

If you live in California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, or Washington, the answer is probably yes. That’s because, this year, the owner of Globe University has registered to do business in these 18 states. The company lists “employing online instructors” as their specific purpose for doing business in Missouri, so presumably, it plans to do the same in the 17 other states.

Data from globe.silk.co

Globe University and Minnesota School of Business are part of a collectively owned group of about 30 proprietary colleges that make up the Globe Education Network (GEN). It has been an incredibly bad past few years for these schools which have faced numerous accusations of deception and fraudulent behavior. News of this has most likely been one of the causes for enrollment to plummet on Globe campuses.

Since 2010, enrollment at the 20 Globe/MSB campuses has plummeted from over 10,000, to just 4,900. In June, the school was also forced to close their Shakopee, Minnesota campus due to such low enrollment. By expanding to new states, the school would be able to bring in new revenue from outside states, where students may not be aware of legal issues, nor Globe University’s reputation of profiteering off the backs of students and taxpayers.

In addition to numerous accusations of fraud and deception, Globe University and sister schools have been accused of leaving students deep in debt while also questioning Globe University’s accreditation and placement numbers. The school has faced lawsuits from former deans of the school, current and former students, and most recently, the Minnesota Attorney General for allegedly misleading criminal justice students and selling them a degree which does not even prepare them for a career as a police officer. According Minnesota Attorney General, Lori Swanson’s press release

The schools offer associate and bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice costing $35,100 and $70,200, respectively. Ads for their criminal justice program show people in police uniforms apprehending suspects and administering field sobriety checks. The schools recommend their criminal justice program to prospective students who tell the schools they want to become police officers, even though it is impossible for a student who graduates from the schools to become a police officer in Minnesota without obtaining a degree from another certified institution…Some students who enrolled in the schools so they could become police officers incurred tens of thousands of dollars of debt with no ability to become licensed as a police officer in Minnesota after graduation.

As Swanson points out, Globe University students pay much more for their education, and graduate with about twice the average student debt of public colleges. An associate’s degree at Globe typically costs between $35,000 and $42,000, while students can expect to pay between $70,000 and $89,000 for a bachelor’s degree.

The suit also describes a sales culture where admissions representatives are trained to “master the art of selling,” and compared tactics used as“reminiscent of sales boiler rooms.” This culture seems to parallel accusations made in previous lawsuits against the company. In 2012, Globe’s COO, Jeanne Herrmann told MPR News, “Their job is to enroll students…So after we have worked with them to help them move toward performance in their role, if they’re not performing, then yes, they can be terminated.” Earlier this year, I uploaded the Globe Education Network’s Admission Representative Training Manual, which people can read at StudentDebtCrisis.org/Globe.

Though officials at the school deny accusations, the Minnesota Attorney General has over 40 affidavits from people accusing the school of wrongdoing. With Globe University expanding into more states, it should be interesting to see if these attorneys general pay stricter attention to a school that keeps finding itself accused of fraud and deception.

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This also appeared on Huffington Post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kyle-mccarthy/despite-accusations-of-globe-university_b_5672480.html.

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How the Student Debt Crisis Stacks Up Against the Mortgage Crisis http://studentdebtcrisis.org/how-the-student-debt-crisis-stacks-up-against-the-mortgage-crisis/ http://studentdebtcrisis.org/how-the-student-debt-crisis-stacks-up-against-the-mortgage-crisis/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 20:41:08 +0000 http://studentdebtcrisis.org/?p=1999 The average Minnesotan student leaves school $31,497 in debt. Nationally, some students are strapped down by as much as $100,000 in student loan debt. The $1.2 trillion in outstanding education debt is more than that of the rest of the world‘s student loan debt combined.

Expert Mark Kantrowitz has suggested not borrowing more for an education than the expected starting salary. But salaries are not keeping up with the rise in tuition. Bloomberg reports that the rate of increase in college costs has been “four times faster than the increase in the consumer price index.” It also notes that “medical expenses have climbed 601 percent, while the price of food has increased 244 percent over the same period.”  Another way to look at it is that in the last 30 years, the cost of a college degree has increased 1,120 percent.

The student-loan crisis may be worse than the 2008 mortgage crisis.  Today’s students are tomorrow’s homeowners and most of them are strapped with school loan payments and or default which makes them ineligible for home loans.   Currently, student loan debt totals more than U. S. credit card debt. Student loans can’t be discharged in bankruptcy and are very hard to have waived on a hardship basis.  The amount of debt and delinquencies are climbing.  Nearly 1 in 5 households is paying off student-loan debt.

Congress should be acting on this, and fast.  Chairman of the Workforce and Education Committee Rep. John Kline should be addressing the problem of student debt, instead of penning bills to increase student loan interest rates.

Read more about Minnesota’s student debt problem here…

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Mitch McConnel Doesn’t Care about Student Loan Borrwers! http://studentdebtcrisis.org/mitch-mcconnel-doesnt-care-about-student-loan-borrwers/ http://studentdebtcrisis.org/mitch-mcconnel-doesnt-care-about-student-loan-borrwers/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 19:04:37 +0000 http://studentdebtcrisis.org/?p=1973

Allison Lundergan Grimes  is really taking it to Sen. Mitch McConnell, and her heated meeting with the Senate Minority Leader at a Kentucky picnic proves it. The two competitors met at the 2014 Fancy Farm Picnic, a unique gathering that forced the candidates to meet face to face. Both Grimes, and McConnell, took a combative stance in front of a polarized audience, however the passionate Grimes successfully criticized the Senator for his abandonment of Americans who are struggling to handle their student debt.

“When it comes to our students being able to afford college”, she told the crowd, “Mitch McConnell doesn’t care”.

And she’s right, last month Sen. McConnell told a town hall in Buckner, KY that he “ruled out forgiving obligations” for Americans who cannot afford their debt, despite having acknowledged that the cost of college was “outrageous”. This shouldn’t be a surprise, the Senator’s record is littered with attempts to block student debt legislation. Last month he blocked Elizabeth Warren’s refinance bill, he has struck down several other attempts to protect student loan interest rates, and the Senator’s ability to create gridlock on the issue is immense.

Not only is McConnell actively blocking legislation that could help student loan borrowers now, he has even encouraged Americans to attend cheaper for-profit universities that carry more financial risk. The Senator said he was a “fan” of for-profits, adding the insult that “not everybody needs to go to Yale”. For-profit colleges make up 13 percent of college students, they account for 31 percent of student loans, and about half of loan defaults.

His opponent, Allison Lundergan Grimes, has gained huge support from student loan debt champion Senator Elizabeth Warren, who traveled to Kentucky to back the candidate after her bill was blocked by Senate Republicans. This new wave of support over the issue has seemed to instill some extra confidence for Mrs. Grimes, who used the Kentucky picnic to take direct aim at Senator McConnell.

Click here to read more on Senator McConnell’s stance on student loans.

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Treasury Pushes to Help Borrowers, Still isn’t Enough http://studentdebtcrisis.org/treasury-pushes-to-help-borrowers-still-isnt-enough/ http://studentdebtcrisis.org/treasury-pushes-to-help-borrowers-still-isnt-enough/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 21:08:49 +0000 http://studentdebtcrisis.org/?p=1968 The U.S. Treasury, which finances more than 90 percent of new student loans, is exploring ways to make repayment more affordable as defaults by almost 7 million Americans and other strapped borrowers restrain economic growth.

Leading the effort is Deputy Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin, who became the department’s No. 2 official in March after more than three years as a Federal Reserve governor. As higher-education debt swells to a record $1.2 trillion, Raskin, 53, is alert to parallels to the mortgage crisis.

Back then, “we would see signs on telephones polls with 1-800 numbers urging homeowners to call to stop foreclosures. People generally got into more trouble when they used those services,” she said in an interview. Driving past the same telephone poles recently, she saw signs “urging people to call a 1-800 number for helping paying student loans.”

Raskin has reason to worry: Most of those loans are backed by the federal government. In addition to trying to facilitate stronger growth, she’s focusing on the impact such debt has on government’s financing needs and ways to improve servicing and collection.

Among the options under consideration is boosting participation in underused Education Department programs that reduce monthly payments by tying them to a percentage of income for those who struggle, while extending the term of the loan.

The Treasury and Education departments are working with tax preparers Intuit Inc. (INTU) and H&R Block Inc. to reach borrowers during the tax-filing process and provide information about student loan repayment options.

For the Treasury, which finances $100 billion of new student loans every year, a pressing need is forecasting repayments more precisely so it can better determine how much money to raise from capital markets.

“The income-based plans provide borrowers with good options to keep their loans current, and keeping those loans current is very important from the perspective of the U.S. government’s balance sheet,” Raskin, the Treasury’s highest-ranking woman ever, said in the July 16 interview. “We need precision around how much we have to raise in order to meet the demand for student loans.”

Critics such as Richard Vedder, director of the Washington-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a nonprofit research group, say the administration’s efforts fail to address the core issue: education costs increasing faster than inflation and income…

Continue reading at Bloomberg…

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Colleges are full of it: Behind the three-decade scheme to raise tuition, bankrupt generations, and hypnotize the media http://studentdebtcrisis.org/colleges-are-full-of-it-behind-the-three-decade-scheme-to-raise-tuition-bankrupt-generations-and-hypnotize-the-media/ http://studentdebtcrisis.org/colleges-are-full-of-it-behind-the-three-decade-scheme-to-raise-tuition-bankrupt-generations-and-hypnotize-the-media/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 06:00:37 +0000 http://studentdebtcrisis.org/?p=1792 Tuition is up 1,200 percent in 30 years. Here’s why you’re unemployed, crushed by debt — and no one is helping

The price of a year at college has increased by more than 1,200 percent over the last 30 years, far outpacing any other price the government tracks: food, housing, cars, gasoline, TVs, you name it. Tuition has increased at a rate double that of medical care, usually considered the most expensive of human necessities. It has outstripped any reasonable expectation people might have had for investments over the period. And, as we all know, it has crushed a generation of college grads with debt. Today, thanks to those enormous tuition prices, young Americans routinely start adult life with a burden unknown to any previous cohort and whose ruinous effects we can only guess at.

On the assumption that anyone in that generation still has a taste for irony, I offer the following quotation on the subject, drawn from one of the earliest news stories about the problem of soaring tuition. The newspaper was the Washington Post; the speaker was an assistant dean at a college that had just announced a tuition hike of 19 percent; and the question before him was how much farther tuition increases could go. “Maybe all of a sudden this bubble is going to burst,” he was quoted as saying. “How much will the public take?”

Oh, we would take quite a lot, as it happened. It was 1981 when the assistant dean worried in that manner—the very first year of what was once called the “tuition spiral,” when higher ed prices got the attention of the media by outpacing inflation by a factor of two or three. There was something shocking about this development…

Continue Reading at Salon…

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