Posts Tagged ‘HIgher Education’

Hillary Clinton’s Commitment: A Debt-Free Future for America’s Graduates

Education is the key to so much we want to achieve as a country:  a stronger, more equitable economy; a healthier, more vibrant democracy; a future in which we meet challenges with ingenuity and skill.  Education is also the key to our young people achieving their dreams.  It’s how we develop our talents and imagine different futures for ourselves.  So any serious plan for America’s future must include a bold plan to put quality education – including college – within everyone’s reach, no matter how much money they have.

College used to be pretty affordable.  For millions of Americans, that’s not the case anymore. Too many families in the United States are struggling with student debt, and the problem has reached crisis levels. Within the last ten years, total student debt in our economy has more than doubled and now exceeds $1.2 trillion. Nearly 7 out of every 10 new graduates of four-year colleges are in debt, and these indebted graduates carry an average balance of nearly $30,000. Student debt has surpassed credit card debt, car loan debt, and home equity lines of credit to be the second largest source of consumer debt.

And this is not just an issue for borrowers: It is holding our economy back. This debt prevents people from forming families, buying homes, and starting small businesses. If you plan on starting a new business then review Sky Blue vs Lexington law breakdown. It sends the wrong signal to future students whom we need to complete college to drive economic growth.

Meanwhile, for families sending their kids to colleges and universities, tuition has ballooned out of control and has become increasingly unaffordable even at public colleges and universities.  Tuition has risen 40% in the last ten years at four-year public colleges and universities, after inflation, while family incomes have remained basically flat.  And states have been cutting their spending on higher education – by roughly 20% per student since the recession – rather than expanding their investments.

Simply put, this situation has careened out of control.  Hillary Clinton has a plan to help millions of Americans with their debt right now, and a plan to make college debt-free for future generations.

Provide Immediate Help to Graduates Who Need Relief from Crushing Debt Hillary has made clear she will fight to ensure that all borrowers can:

  • Refinance their student loans at current rates, just as borrowers can refinance a car or home loan. Refinancing would help 25 million borrowers across the country, with the typical borrower saving $2,000 over the life of the loan.
  • Enroll in income-based repayment. Nobody should have to pay more than 10 percent of monthly income, and college debt should be forgiven after 20 years – and 10 years if a borrower works in the public interest. Hillary will simplify, expand and develop options for automatic enrollment in these programs.
  • Push employers to contribute to student debt relief. Employers must be part of the solution to the student debt crisis. Clinton will create a payroll deduction portal for employers and employees that will simplify the repayment process. She will explore further options to encourage employers to help pay down student debt.
  • Get relief from debt for starting a business or social enterprise.  Aspiring entrepreneurs will be able to defer their loans with no payments or interest for up to three years so that student debt and the lack of family wealth is not a barrier to innovation in our country. For social entrepreneurs and those starting new enterprises in distressed communities, her plan will provide up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness.
  • Reward public service.  AmeriCorps members who complete two years of national service and a year of public service can have their loans forgiven.  Teachers who teach in high-need areas or in subjects with teacher shortages – such as computer science or special education – will get enhanced loan forgiveness.
A Moratorium on Student Debt to Get Millions of Borrowers Relief from Crushing Debt: Today, Hillary Clinton is announcing that she will take immediate executive action to offer a three-month moratorium on student loan payments to all federal loan borrowers. During this time-out from paying student loans, every borrower will be given the resources and targeted help they need to save money on their loans. With dedicated assistance from the Department of Education during this moratorium, borrowers will be able to consolidate their loans, sign up quickly and easily for income-based repayment plans, and take direct advantage of opportunities to reduce monthly interest payments and fees. Borrowers who are delinquent or in default will receive additional rehabilitation options to help them get back on their feet. Clinton will also use the moratorium to crack down on for-profit colleges and loan servicers who have too often taken advantage of borrowers – and to ensure that borrowers can resolve outstanding issues in a timely and fair manner.

Debt-Free College for our Future Students

Hillary Clinton has pledged to achieve the goal of debt-free college for future graduates, so that cost is never a barrier for young people seeking to pursue their dreams of higher education (click here for more details).  It’s a simple, but bold idea:  Every student should be able to graduate from a public college or university in their state without taking on any student debt.  To reach this goal, Hillary is enhancing the New College Compact she announced last year.  Her plan will:

  • Eliminate college tuition for working families. Families with income up to $125,000 will pay no tuition at in-state public colleges and universities – covering more than 80 percent of all families. From the start of this plan, every student from a family making $85,000 a year or less will be able to go to a 4-year public college or university tuition free. This income threshold will increase by $10,000 a year every year over the next four years so that by 2021, all students with a family income of $125,000 will have the opportunity to pay no tuition. She will also continue her commitment to ensure that community colleges are tuition-free for all working families.
  • Help students deal with all of the costs of attending college.  Hillary Clinton will protect Pell Grant funding to help low- and middle-income students pay non-tuition expenses, and she will restore year-round Pell Grant funding so that students have the necessary support they need to take summer classes and meet their goal of completing college.  She will make a major investment in HBCUs, Minority-Serving Institutions and other low-cost, modest-endowment private schools so that these deserving students also benefit from the lower cost of college. She will work to expand opportunities for students to earn money for expenses through term-time work and to receive college credit for national service. She will expand support for student-parents, including a fifteen-fold increase in federal funding for on-campus child care.

The New College Compact: Hillary Clinton’s plan requires everyone to do their part.  The federal government will make a major new investment to make this possible, but states will have to step up and meet their obligations as well.

States will have to commit to a combination of reinvestment and reform over the next four years and beyond to ensure that federal support is funding students and not excessive cost growth.

  • Colleges and universities will be accountable for reining in costs to provide value to their students; improving completion rates and learning outcomes; and doing more to provide students from disadvantaged backgrounds with the tools they need to reach college and succeed once they get there.
  • Students will be expected to work 10 hours a week to help defray the full cost of attendance. Clinton will push to expand work opportunities that build career skills and introduce students of all backgrounds to public service careers.
  • As part of this New College Compact, Hillary will encourage and reward innovators who design imaginative new ways of providing valuable higher education to students while driving down costs.  And she will crack down on the abusive practices of for-profit colleges that defraud taxpayers while burdening students with debt for educational programs of no value.




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Remarks at USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network Event


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Rajiv Shah
USAID Administrator
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
November 8, 2012

ADMINISTRATOR SHAH: Well, I will be very brief. My name is Raj Shah. I’m the Administrator at USAID. We want to thank all of our colleagues from universities, from the Department of State, and from across our government.

And I’ll get a chance to make a few remarks after Secretary Clinton departs this afternoon, but we are – I am so honored to be able to host you here in this room. It is a special room with a lot of significance, but in this case, the significance is Secretary Clinton has been a tremendous proponent not just of development and of tackling extreme poverty around the world, but of bringing American science, technology, innovation, and youthful enterprise to that task. And one of the ways we have tried to put into practice that guidance and theme has been creating and launching the development laboratories on college campuses that we’re inaugurating here today and in the conference series tomorrow.

So I do want to take just one moment to thank Megan Smith from Google who’s on our advisory board and has been from the beginning, Rick Klausner for helping us to conceptualize this, and [inaudible], who has also served in that capacity.

So with that, Madam Secretary, thank you for having us here today.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Raj, and it’s exciting for me to welcome all of you here to the State Department, actually to the Benjamin Franklin Room. Mr. Franklin is above us over the fireplace. But what a especially fitting setting for us to be discussing this exciting new initiative, harnessing science and technology to save and improve millions of lives around the world.

Raj just finished thanking a lot of people, but I want to thank you, Raj, for your leadership and your commitment to innovation that produces results. And it’s been a very exciting time to try to reach out and create a network of likeminded partners and institutions to work with USAID. And I am delighted to see all of you here.

Having representatives of these seven universities focusing the ingenuity of your brightest people on these daunting challenges is very reassuring to us because we know we cannot do the work we try to do solely on the – building on the past, looking at what might have worked 10 years ago or 20 years ago. Nobody does that in the private sector, and it’s perhaps slightly more difficult to change direction in the public sector, but we know we must, and this is a very strong indicator of that.

I know we have some students with us today and we thank them for being part of this. I think it’s exciting that you will have a chance to really be part of solving some of these difficult problems we face. What we’ve tried to do in the Obama Administration is to elevate development alongside diplomacy and defense, because we consider the so-called three “D”s as being the basis, the foundation, of our foreign policy and national security. And we’ve also tried to put real substance behind the slogan “Country-led, Country-owned.” Our goal is to help countries become self-sufficient, to be in the hoped-for future themselves, putting us out of business because of the way that we are working together now.

So we cannot rely solely on traditional development – building roads, infrastructure, hospitals, training, doctors, nurses, teachers. Incremental change is a necessary but not sufficient pathway to what we hope to accomplish. And that’s why Raj and his team have put a special focus on science and technology, and we’ve already seen some serious steps forward because of that. We’ve kicked off a series of prizes, challenges, and competitions. USAID launched three grand challenges for development – to save lives at birth, get all children reading, and power agriculture through clean energy. We’ve also created new funding mechanisms that will help bring new ideas to scale like our Development Innovation Ventures program, which is supporting new solutions to prevent electoral fraud and to expand access to credit for underserved populations.

We’re helping build research capacity through new partnerships with the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health that connect American scientists with their counterparts around the world. And through science fellowships, we’re bringing in more researchers, engineers, and physicians to work with USAID.

Now we want to build on and expand all this progress, and we especially want to expand our portfolio of partners in the private sector, in local NGOs, and of course in the academic and research community, and that’s where all of you come in. Each of the seven universities represented here today has committed to create a development lab. Working with USAID’s field mission experts and Washington staff, scientists and researchers in these labs will apply the latest science and technology to some of the biggest challenges in development.

For example, MIT, a leader in design and technology, will publish reports on the effectiveness of different technologies ranging from treadle pumps to microscopes mounted on cell phones. Think of it as a kind of consumers report for development. Berkeley and MIT are creating a new discipline of development science and engineering. That will mean new courses, new journals, new departments, and even new PhDs dedicated to design for low and middle-income countries. And Makerere, a university in Uganda, will engage the developing world by creating online courses with a special focus on people helping themselves to get an education as well as fighting for more transparency, accountability, justice and equality in their own societies.

At Texas A&M, researchers will bring a special focus on improving agricultural productivity. William & Mary will help USAID advance its use of data and analytics to improve decision-making. Scientists at Michigan State will study megatrends like population growth and climate change. In many parts of the world, as you know so well, rising temperatures and unpredictable rainfall patterns are making it harder for farmers to grow enough food, putting a strain on entire agricultural systems. Now of course, climate change is not a problem that only hurts people in faraway places. It affects everyone, and we are seeing the effects, as we speak, in our own country. And I think it’s increasingly imperative that we address that issue at every level of society.

So the idea behind the Higher Education Solutions Network that we are launching today is to take advantage of each lab’s unique abilities. Here’s an example of how it could work: An entrepreneur at Berkeley discovers a groundbreaking innovation to bring clean drinking water to low-income families, but she needs to take it to scale. So the network connects her to researchers at Duke who have expertise in accelerating and scaling up solutions, and together, they grow her business so her work benefits hundreds of thousands, even millions of people.

I’m very excited about this project and pleased to announce that USAID has committed up to $130 million for the network and development labs over the next five years. This commitment will be matched by an equivalent amount from universities and their partners. But to make this network a reality, we need your input and ideas. So in the rest of this session, which Raj will chair, I hope you’ll explore how we can work together to make what we’re doing as effective as possible as soon as possible. How can we ensure that this is not just a series of individual grants or one-off accomplishments, but instead we create an integrated network that delivers large scale impact?

So I’m very excited about this. I’m sorry I can’t stay for the discussion. I have to go over to the White House. Now that the election is over, we’re trying to – (laughter) – make up for a lot of lost time in dealing with a lot of the issues that are pressing for our country and the world. But Raj will give me a full de-brief.

But again, I want to thank all the universities. We’re especially pleased to have you come from Uganda. Eventually, our dream would be that this would be a global network, and that development labs would be working around the world, all networked and creating very positive outcomes for millions and millions of people who might never hear of what we are doing, but would see the results of all of your work.

Thank you very much. Thanks, Raj. (Applause.)

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Remarks at U.S.-India Higher Education Summit


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Georgetown University
Washington, DC
October 13, 2011

Good morning. I am always happy to be here and to have a chance to be on this campus that has meant so much to my family and particularly to see the balconies filled with Hoya and to know that some of you got up quite early. (Laughter.) But I am hoping that not only are you here because of your interest in the work that is ongoing between the United States and India but because you’re also considering a career in the Foreign Service. I have to put that plug in because, as you just heard when Assistant Secretary Bob Blake was introduced, it’s a very interesting professional endeavor. And I know how wonderful it is for somebody like Assistant Secretary Blake to have spent a career forging better relations between our country and others and to come and have a chance to look up at the next generation, because after all, that is what motivates our work.So it’s a pleasure to welcome you here. I want to think President DeGioia, as I often do, for his generosity in sharing the hospitality of this great university. I want to thank Dean Carol Lancaster for her work as well, and I’m delighted that Minister Sibal and a distinguished delegation of Indian officials is here for this event. And of course, it is always a pleasure to be anywhere with the new Indian ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Rao, we thank you for all you’ve done on behalf of your country and the relationship between us.

I also want to recognize an old friend and someone who will be speaking to you later in the program, Ambassador Dick Celeste – ambassador, governor, and president emeritus of Colorado College. He’s very well positioned based on his diplomatic service in India, and of course, his deep knowledge of American higher education, to stress the importance of greater cooperation.

And I’m delighted, as I look out at this audience, to see faces I recognize – presidents and deans of some of our greatest American colleges and universities. And I thank our partners in both the private and the nonprofit sectors for making this summit a priority. This summit brings together more than 300 presidents, chancellors, and other leaders from across the higher education spectrum in our nation. From private institutions, like Georgetown or Yale, to community colleges, to state and land grant universities. And it’s a great gift and such an enormous treasure of our country that we have a higher education system that is a source of such national strength and pride.

Now, educational collaboration is a driving force in our strategic dialogue with the Government of India. And this summit is a result of the discussions between President Obama and Prime Minister Singh because for those of you who are watching the great rise of India, I hope you share our excitement that this largest of all democracies, this wildly pluralistic nation, is on the path to providing greater benefits for their citizens within the context of freedom and opportunity. And they know, as we know from our own experience, that a democracy depends upon education, an educated citizenry. And we, therefore, at the highest levels of our two governments, are committed to this.

But whether or not this takes hold will depend upon those of you outside government – professors and teachers, researchers, business leaders; you will ultimately determine the success of these efforts. And so today is an opportunity for us to take our high-level partnership and begin making it real for the millions of Americans and Indians who care about our shared future and are, frankly, curious about one another.

Now, our college experiences, even those of us who can dimly remember them, do shape who we become. When I started at Wellesley College many years ago, I had only been out of our country once. I had gone to the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls. (Laughter.) I was president of the Young Republicans; so you see, times do change. (Laughter.) And actually, Minister, when I was a senior at Wellesley, my first hope was to get a Fulbright to India. And for reasons having to do with geopolitics, the Fulbright program was put on pause at that time. So I ended up going to Yale Law School.

And since then, I have seen the results of my education in nearly everything that I do, on pushing me to become a global citizen, rooted here in my own country, whose values and traditions I cherish, but looking outward. And almost – well, I don’t want to say how many years later, but now I see higher education as an even greater passport to opportunity and understanding. So as we strive to facilitate that between our young people, we have to do more. We don’t want to just stand by and let it happen on its own because we believe strongly that investing in learning between us is in very much both of our interests.

Now, the United States and India have a strong history of exchange. Last year, we welcomed over 100,000 students from India to pursue college or graduate level study here. But we think the opportunities for collaboration are even greater. And particularly, we want to see more American students enrolling for academic credit at Indian institutions.

The United States Government is fully committed to enhancing this academic cooperation. The Obama-Singh Initiative provides $10 million for increased university partnership and junior faculty development. The Fulbright-Nehru program has nearly tripled in size in the past three years, and we are proud that the United States now conducts more faculty exchanges with India than with any other country through this program. And with our new Passport to India program, we are working with the private sector to help more American students experience India through internships and service projects. We’ve expanded our Education U.S.A. advising services for Indian students and their families to provide information about opportunities for study, and frankly, to help you sort out misleading offers that come over the internet, and we know flood into homes across India, giving young Indian students the idea that a certain approach will work for them when, in fact, it is a dead end. We don’t want to see that happen. We want to see real exchanges with credible institutions, and we will do everything we can to support that.

We’re also encouraging state and local officials in our country to engage with their counterparts in India to support educational cooperation and connection at every level. So we’re going to continue to facilitate dialogues like this, but we’re asking you to develop direct connections, faculty to faculty, student to student, business to business.

And there are so many wonderful stories. I’m sure many of you could tell your own, but I want to end with this one because it really hits close to home in an area that I care deeply about.

A few years ago, a small group of American and Indian classmates at Stanford University decided to work together to build a better baby incubator. Four hundred and fifty premature and low-weight babies die every hour, and traditional baby incubators can cost as much as $20,000. So the students developed the Embrace baby warmer, a portable incubator for use in poor and rural areas that doesn’t require electricity and only costs around $100.

After graduating from Stanford, this Indian and American team moved to Bangalore to continue working on their idea and launched their project. And it’s now in use in hospitals in India and saving babies’ lives. Their goal is to save 100,000 babies by 2013.

Now, this is a simple idea born out of conversations between students from both of our countries talking about shared hopes for a better world that led to action. And it took these American and Indian students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives working together to make it happen.

So I’d like to challenge all of us to jumpstart these kinds of relationships and opportunities for cooperation today, and there is no better way to do it than to brainstorm in the sessions this afternoon to consider no idea off limits, no outcome impossible, asking yourselves: How can our universities deepen our collaboration and particularly our student and faculty exchanges, and how can we work more on research, and how can we set goals for ourselves that we then work toward meeting? How can the private sector and government help our educational institutions help catalyze the workforce that will be needed in the 21st century in both of our countries? What institutional barriers can we and should we break down, and how do we build forward?

We want our relationship between these two great democracies to be as interconnected as possible at every level. Yes, government to government, but that is just the beginning and is clearly not the most important of the lasting collaborations that we seek.

So with that, let me now invite to the podium my co-host for the summit, a very strong supporter for enhanced strategic and educational cooperation between our countries, Minister Sibal. (Applause.)

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