A 2007 Boston Globe report on college admissions data that has been making the rounds on Twitter lately reveals that “about 15 percent of freshmen enrolled at America's highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions' minimum admissions standards,” most of whom “are students who gained admission through their ties to people the institution wanted to keep happy, with alumni, donors, faculty members, administrators and politicians topping the list.”
Jessica Camacho is a policy intern at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C.
As a low-income and first-generation college student in my family, the subject of student loans has been a matter of acute concern to me. High school counselors constantly told me that student loans are “good debt.” This type of information made it justifiable for peers in similar socioeconomic situations to borrow federal and private loans. But lenders take advantage of first-time borrowers by failing to explain in full detail future payment plans, which may cause individuals to be fiscally unprepared for post-graduate life. Current student debt trends must be fixed in order to stop setting up graduates for a lifetime of financial struggles.
This is a cross-post from The Huffington Post by Amy B. Dean, a fellow at The Century Foundation and co-author of A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement.
In 2008, young people in America—including many who voted in their first presidential election—rallied behind a youthful senator from Illinois campaigning on the promise of change and hope. Now the incumbent in the White House, Barack Obama, faces a difficult challenge in recapturing the youth vote for his re-election. Early this month, The New York Times reported that enthusiasm for Obama among voters aged 18 to 24 has fallen sharply since the past election cycle. And many of the young people interviewed in the article spoke of feeling alienated from politics.
So what is behind young people's disaffection? And what must President Obama do if he is serious about winning back the country's youth?
A little more than a day before the nation’s highway and transit projects would lose funding—threatening nearly 2 million jobs—and student loan interest rates were set to double, Congress acted.
The House (373-52) and Senate (74-19) this afternoon passed the two-year, $120 million Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012 that will protect more than 2 million jobs and expand a loan guarantee program that could create an additional 1 million jobs (mostly in the construction sector). The bill also keeps interest rates for college students on subsidized Stafford Loans at 3.4 percent. They were set to double on July 1 to 6.8 percent.
As college tuition steadily increases by an average of about 8 percent each year, more and more students and their families rely on student loans to help pay the escalating costs of obtaining a college degree. One in three college students takes out federal subsidized Stafford Loans when scholarships, grants and part-time jobs just aren’t enough to fund higher education.
Interest rates on subsidized Stafford Loans are set to double on July 1, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, unless Congress acts. Today, Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic push to keep the rates at their current level—but the young people whose families and futures will be directly impacted by a rate hike are making sure their voices are heard on this critical issue.
"For Most Graduates, a Grueling Job Hunt Awaits," The Wall Street Journal writes today. Over the weekend, the New York Times sounded the alarm about employers' growing use of unpaid internships in fields that typically have never exploited free labor.