Thursday, July 2, 2015

Democratic Candidates Take on Student Debt For 2016

No, no, they aren't paying yours off with their loaded campaign coffers, but before getting to the political propaganda and the $how-fooley of the campaign, I wanted to remind you kids the reason there is a problem was because when Democrats drew up the original bill they set the rates to expire in 2012 -- because they thought it would be a GOOD POLITICAL ISSUE for the ELECTIONS! They subsequently lost the House, another miscalculated(?!).

Now, need I remind you kids , BOTH PARTIES let the 3.4% rate lapse so it would ballon to 6.8% before rushing in to save you and dropping it back down to 3.8%while tying them to market rates that can only rise -- and then they held press conferences telling you what a great thing they did for you kids!! They truly think you are that stoopid!

They f***ed you, kids. Your Dem friends f***ed you

Anyhow, I hope you don't mind if I fall asleep in this class:

"Despite talk of easing college debt, not many options; Students’ burden a top issue in Democrats’ presidential campaigns" by Tracy Jan Globe Staff  June 11, 2015

WASHINGTON — Promises to reduce, or even eliminate, the financial burdens of higher education represent the newest frontier in Democrats’ call for taxpayer-sponsored social programs. The anxiety-inducing $1.3 trillion in student debt has quickly become a focus of the 2016 Democratic presidential primary contest.

They are pandering to you kids, so get out there and vote!

But while the concept is attracting attention from financially challenged middle-class families, details are scarce on how government should pay for potentially the costliest initiatives since President Obama’s health care overhaul.

It's a nothing issue, the same red meat they they throw to the sheeple every two to four years.

After the campaign, it will be bu$ine$$ as u$ual -- and the fault of the other guy, of course. 

Now where they having lunch?

The one concrete source of funding comes from Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who proposes a new tax on Wall Street transactions.

Did you just here a buzzer?

While that idea draws cheers from his populist fan base, it would be a political long shot for passage in today’s Washington.

It costs him nothing to say it, kids.

Sanders also has produced the only guess at the huge costs: three quarters of a trillion dollars over the first decade.

“This is a politically popular idea, but the solutions are hard and expensive,” said Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education, a nonpartisan policy and lobbying group in Washington for colleges and universities. “How you pay for it very quickly becomes a seriously complicating issue.”

Meanwhile, the effect of student debt on the national economy — frequently cited on the campaign trail as a key reason to ease the burden — is hard to measure.

They can't $ee those chains on you kids.

While politicians often link higher student debt to lower rates of homeownership, entrepreneurship, and retirement savings, no one can point to a reliable figure quantifying the effect of the debt on the overall economy.

Yeah, somehow the banker's scheme's are always this unmea$urable unquantified my$tery.

“I would say it’s overreaching given the current landscape of research to suggest a link between student debt and a drain on the economy,” said Beth Akers, a Brookings fellow whose research focuses on the economics of higher education.

The squishiness of the candidates’ proposals is giving conservative critics easy ammunition to denounce the ideas as nothing more than liberal talking points.

(Yawn. Blog editor starting to fade)

“This has quickly become a rallying cry for Democrats and advocates and also somewhat of a litmus test for candidates: Are you with us or against us on this?” said Andrew Kelly, director of the Center on Higher Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank based in Washington. “I see why it’s enticing as an election- year slogan, but there are some serious flaws.” 

The war against student debt elevated to the war on terrorism rational. All right!

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, got out front on the issue in 2013 when her first bill as senator called for reducing the interest rates that government charges student borrowers. Since then, goals have become far more sweeping.

Yeah, the bankers (and government that profits off the student loan program) don't want to charge you kids a 0.75% rate -- that's less than 1 percent, kids, but you know that.

Nudged along by liberal Democrats, party members in both the Senate and House are also looking for greater access to debt-free higher education. Warren, along with Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii, and Chuck Schumer of New York, introduced a nonbinding resolution in April calling for states to reduce tuition at public schools; for the federal government to increase financial aid; and for a program that allows students to refinance loans at lower rates.

But the resolution has no teeth, and it makes no mention of how to pay for any of its lofty goals.

Warren, in an interview Wednesday, said the idea for the resolution is to “push us in the right direction.”

I have heard the people argue that change is slow and we must nudge and push -- then Wall Street got its bailout within a week, the TPP was turned around and fast-tracked within days, and the wars seem to come out of nowhere but in we go! So forgive me if I don't go hooah.

“We should be doing more as a country to leverage our federal dollars to give the schools incentives to drive down costs and to encourage states to invest more in their flagship schools,” Warren said. “We need resources and incentives to bring down costs. This is a one-two punch.”

Representative Katherine Clark, a Massachusetts Democrat, introduced a parallel resolution in the House, along with Representatives Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota, all Democrats.

Clark, in an interview, acknowledged that without money attached to the resolution, it is simply a political guidepost, a “first step” in a national conversation.


So far, the resolution has garnered more than 70 cosponsors among Democrats in Congress, including Senators Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.

“Our ultimate goal is to make debt-free college central to the 2016 election and signal to the candidates that if they embrace the idea, they won’t be out on a limb,” said Adam Green, cofounder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which lobbied Congress on the resolutions.

Borrowers owe an average of $28,400 in federal and private loans combined, according to the Project on Student Debt by the Institute for College Access & Success.

A May poll by Rasmussen Reports found that Democrats, women, and younger voters were more likely to believe that the government should pay for college. But among the 800 adults surveyed, Americans were nearly evenly split — 43 percent agreed with the government paying for college and 40 percent disagreed.

Marv McMoore Jr., former president of College Democrats of Massachusetts, who graduated from Northeastern University last month, recently moved back home with his parents on Long Island to save money while he attends graduate school at Fordham University in New York City.

The son of an auto mechanic, McMoore is the first in his immediate family to graduate from college. The 21-year-old estimates that he will have $60,000 of student loan debt by the time he receives his master’s degree next year. He views the debt-free college campaign as a way to energize a new generation of voters. “With voter apathy among young folks, this is a way to attract them back to the polls,” McMoore said.

That's the only time they notice you kids, unless it is to clear out the city square or common being Occupied.

The recent push goes further than President Obama’s proposal in January to make two years of community college free — which the White House estimated would cost the federal government $60 billion over 10 years but which stands little chance of passing. Huh, what?

If you read the fine print it isn't even free. 

A White House official said the president is encouraged that Congress is engaged in the conversation but would not say whether Obama supports the debt- or tuition-free proposals.

Sanders’ bill, which was introduced last month and has yet to draw supporters in the Senate, Democrat or Republican, would cost $750 billion over 10 years, according to his office.

Like I said (blog editor looks at clock).

Under the legislation, two-thirds of the cost of tuition and fees would be borne by the federal government and the rest by the states. The federal share would come from a tax on Wall Street. 

I heard another buzzer.

The bill would also eliminate federal profits on loans, build on existing work-study programs to defray costs, and offer incentives for colleges to keep tuition down.

Making public colleges free, said Sanders, an independent running for the Democratic nomination, is the most efficient way to “create the best-educated workforce that we can have.”

Then hire a bunch of illegals and visa immigrants to do those jobs, saddling kids with debt and $hit jobs (save for a cho$en and $elected elite). Hey, college grad, their is always the military.

But critics say they fear the plans to inject more federal money to ease college debt would only prompt college costs to balloon and leave taxpayers on the hook.

Said Lindsey Burke, a fellow with the conservative Heritage Foundation: “We need to think of policies that actually fix the college cost problem, not take taxpayer dollars filtered through government programs and increased subsidies.” 

I just heard a bell!


I think I'll skip the rest of the Globe's classes today:

"Elizabeth Warren calls for more oversight of for-profit colleges; Says Department of Education has let students down" by Tracy Jan Globe Staff  June 10, 2015


"Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the ruling a win for students and taxpayers and urged lawmakers to stop fighting against the regulations. General Counsel Sally Stroup said in a statement that the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, a trade group representing 1,400 for-profit colleges, is disappointed in the court decision and considering its options.... US court upholds tough rules on for-profit college loans"

WASHINGTON — Senator Elizabeth Warren chastised the US Department of Education for what she says is a failure to enforce federal higher education rules at the expense of millions of students victimized by questionable for-profit colleges and student loan servicers.

In a speech delivered Wednesday afternoon, Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, called on the Education Department to “get tough” and “show that there’s a real cop on the beat.” She also called on Congress to hold the department accountable for its actions.

Warren recommends external checks on the department such as moving the student loan complaint system out of the Department of Education and over to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which she helped establish.

“We don’t trust a bank to handle its own complaints, and we shouldn’t trust the federal student loan program to do it either,” Warren said.

RelatedBanks, others balk at posting of complaints

“There are real reasons to worry about whether the Department of Education is committed to enforcing federal rules designed to help students,” she said.

She cites to two specific examples where she asserts that the Department of Education failed America’s students.

Instead of acting on concerns of financial misconduct by Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit institution that has declared bankruptcy, Warren accuses the department of allowing the college to keep enrolling students and draining more federal funds despite years of awareness about concerns at the school. At its peak, the college had 120 campuses and enrolled more than 100,000 students.

“When Corinthian’s dangerous mix of mismanagement and deception finally blew up, the Department stepped in to bail out the college and keep it alive longer,” Warren said.

They called it a $ucce$$, too! Don't they ever learn?

Arne Duncan, secretary of the Department of Education, announced this week that the department would forgive the loans for students defrauded by Corinthian. But Warren says he should do more — “particularly since the students were defrauded while the Department of Education passed up one opportunity after another to stop Corinthian from cheating more students.”

In a press call on Monday, Duncan blamed Congress for failing to give the Department of Education enough resources to be effective. He said he hopes the Corinthian Colleges debacle serves as a “wakeup call” to both the for-profit college industry and to Congress.

“Congress has fought us every step of the way when we’re just trying to bring some basic accountability to the industry,” Duncan said. “It’s been a huge problem.”

Warren also criticized the Department of Education for failing to take action against Navient, one of the country’s largest student loan servicers. The Department of Justice and the FDIC hit the company with a $100 million fine last year for failing to cap interest rates on federal and private loans for members of the armed forces, as required by law, Warren said. Despite the settlement, she said she is troubled by the fact that Navient is continuing to service millions of federal student loans.

“Instead of taking action against Navient, the Department of Education conducted its own investigation, and a year later announced, inexplicably, that Navient had not engaged in misconduct,” Warren said. “What’s going on?”

Warren said she and Senator Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat who has since retired, questioned the head of the department’s student loan program last year about why it continues to work with Navient despite its pattern of rule breaking. She said the official pointed out that canceling the contract would mean the department would have to transfer millions of borrowers to a new servicer.

“In other words, in the view of senior officials at the Department of Education, Navient is simply too big to fail,” Warren said.

In response to Warren’s speech, Denise Horn, a Department of Education spokeswoman, said the department uses a different criteria than the Department of Justice in determining compliance.

“Our review looked only at whether the servicers complied with the Higher Education Act and our regulations and contracts,” Horn said in an email to the Globe. “Our findings identified that less than one percent of borrowers were incorrectly denied the six percent interest rate cap.”

Warren delivered her speech to more than 100 educators and policy makers at the Shanker Institute at the American Federation of Teachers headquarters.


You ready to take a tour of the campus, kiddo?

"Everything counts in the campus visit; Atmosphere, location, even food can deter potential applicants" by Beth Teitell Globe Staff  June 11, 2015

In Massachusetts, so many parent-child teams — and groups of high schoolers — are now touring schools that the circuit generates an estimated $68 million in hotel and restaurant spending annually, according to an estimate by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts. That figure doesn’t include money spent while visiting public schools, such as UMass Amherst or Bridgewater State University, or on touristy things like visits to museums, Fenway Park, or Boston Duck Tours.

They REALLY DO $EE US ALL as ATM machines!!

The trips are costly for parents, and they can be emotionally taxing, too. “You want to help them find the nirvana they are looking for,” said Sara Cornell, a Newton mother. “But at the same time, you are stuck in a car or an airplane with an agitated 17-year-old.”

Taxing in more ways than one, and is she complaining about the kid? 

Is he on any prescription pharmaceuticals?

Her daughter decided several hours into a Jet Blue flight to San Francisco — somewhere over the Rockies — that the University of California, Berkeley was too far away from home.

Good thing, too, from what I've read recently.

They toured Berkeley as planned, said Cornell, who blogs about life and relationships, but she found that the college-application process was more expensive than she had anticipated, and not the bonding experience she’d hoped for. “It’s an exercise in emotional management.”

The reasons college-bound kids say no to a school are many. They reject schools because the tour guide is too preppy — or not preppy enough. Because it was raining the day they visited, or they were fighting, by text, with a boyfriend or girlfriend who has nothing to do with the school.

(Blog editor reads this and is stunned by the insulting condescension toward you kids)

The sometimes seemingly random decision-making style of their target market does not come as a surprise to the colleges and universities. As Andrew Flagel, a senior vice president for students and enrollment at Brandeis University, put it: “My job is predicting and guiding and one might say steering the behavior of 17-year-olds. As many parents would tell you, this is an uphill battle.”

Brandeis highlights everything you’d expect on a tour — its high-tech classrooms and labs, students’ access to professors, the famous Rose Art Museum — but the school also employs a strategy more common among realtors than educators: “What could be better than the smell of fresh-baked cookies when they arrive?” Flagel asked, noting that the admissions building includes a small kitchen.

Just don't tell them where they were baked.

What’s better than cookies? For Harry Potter fans, it’s Quidditch, said Kelly Ruoff, chief creative officer of Ologie, an Ohio-based firm that specializes in higher education branding. “Every tour starts out talking about the school’s team,” she said. Mention of school’s a cappella groups comes in a close second.

Then there are the meals. Rouff said a common question on tours is: “Do you have soft serve ice cream in the cafeteria?”

Insignificant? Perhaps. But can a generation raised in a foodie culture be blamed for caring about what it eats?

You know what? Let's go. I've seen enough of this campus.

That’s what Jen Cusack, a Needham mother, asked herself when her son ruled out Oberlin College in large part because the tour guide said that the Ohio school’s commitment to locally sourced food meant that in the dining hall they didn’t serve bananas.

“That could be a deal breaker,” Noah Baker told his mom. “I mean, four years without bananas? That’s a lot.”

Yup. It's the insulting elitism of the paper that did it.

(An Oberlin representative said the school does serve bananas, of the fair trade variety, albeit in limited quantities.)

“At first we were laughing about it,” Cusack said. “But then we thought, maybe that’s saying something about their philosophy. It’s kind of extreme.”

Indeed, no less an authority on admissions than William Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s dean of admissions and financial aid, says that while trivial factors shouldn’t be blown out of proportion, gut feeling is important, too.

“You try to do this careful intellectual analysis of why one college might be a better match than another college,” he said. “But in the end, people realize that any of the big decisions in life cannot be made by intellect alone. I went to Catholic high school, and the nuns would say, ‘Look into your soul, if any.’ ”

Meanwhile, in a buddy movie starring two players who aren’t always buddies, the eye rolling goes both ways. On Wednesday morning, on the sun-drenched campus of Boston College, Eliza Hering, 17, a rising high school senior from Pennsylvania, took a moment out of listening to the tour guide to deride her mother’s behavior on the college trail.

“She’s overly gracious,” Hering explained. “She’s overly energetic to say ‘thank you,’ and she asks everyone questions, so everyone knows she’s really happy to be there.”

She must be.... never mind.


Maybe they can take on this, too:

"Inquiries into campus sex assaults leave victims languishing; Education Dept. faces growing backlog of cases" by Juliet Linderman Associated Press  June 09, 2015 

Not doing very well for the alleged perps, either.

NEW YORK — Olivia Ortiz was elated when the Department of Education contacted her in June 2013 to tell her it was opening an investigation into her complaint that the University of Chicago had mishandled her sexual assault case.

A junior at the time, she had run out of options on campus after a dean decided against an investigation and instead recommended an informal mediation between her and a student she said had assaulted her in the spring of her freshman year.

Finally, Ortiz said, she felt someone was on her side.

Two years later, Ortiz is still waiting.

The reason: a burgeoning backlog at the Education Department that advocates say is leaving victims to languish longer without resolution and could discourage others from coming forward at all.

‘‘I definitely appreciate the Department of Education taking their time,’’ said Ortiz, who has since left campus and moved back in with her parents in Arizona, citing anxiety about continuing her studies in an environment where she felt unsafe. ‘‘But for me, I just wanted some immediate relief.’’

The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of sexual assault, but Ortiz has come forward to help draw attention to the problem.

College students who believe their schools mishandled their allegations of sexual assault have increasingly opted to use the federal gender discrimination statute known as Title IX to press the institutions for stronger action.

Last May, the department made public a list of 55 schools under investigation for Title IX complaints stemming from sexual violence, a figure that has more than doubled. As of June 3, the agency had 129 open sexual assault cases at 116 schools across the country. Those complaints are not criminal cases, but if a university is found to be in violation of Title IX, it risks losing federal funding, a massive piece of most schools’ budgets.

At the same time, the department has altered its approach to investigating such complaints. Instead of assessing them as isolated cases, the agency now sees each one as an opportunity for a broader assessment of a school’s overall compliance.

Advocates praise the department’s commitment to evaluating the culture of each college under investigation. But the spike in complaints and the broader scope of the responses have swamped the department’s investigators. Groups that support victims worry that the lengthy reviews, which may bring improvements to the universities in question, wind up stranding the people filing the complaints.

The long wait for a resolution also extends the anguish for anyone wrongly accused. And it frustrates schools as they seek vindication of their efforts to make campuses safer.

Even before the department adopted its more comprehensive approach, Title IX investigations could take years. Part of that lengthy timeline has to do with a lack of funding and, more specifically, staffing.

In 2014, the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights received more than 10,000 complaints, including those under Title IX, a broad law that bans gender-based discrimination in federally funded programs.

Less than 10 percent of those complaints related to sexual assault, but the same office had to field all 10,000.


Sorry I passed out there; I'm more concerned about different kind of $crewing, but the above article just shows what happens when you binge.

Government now in the regulation of sexual conduct, and doesn't that dredge up memories of a dreadful regime of the past, right? 

What's next, an electronic chaperone (so the NSA guys can get free porn?)

I think that's enough kicking around of you kids. Enjoy the summer.

UPDATE: ‘Yes means yes’ law widens in New York

Worst all, the dorm is a slum.