Unions, Student Groups Launching ‘Higher Ed, Not Debt’ Campaign Against Rising Cost Of College

Career College Central summary:

  • As the cost of higher education continues to rise for students in comparison to government spending, a coalition of labor unions and student groups is launching a new campaign calling for action to address the expense of higher education. The "Higher Ed, Not Debt" campaign launched last week as a collaborative effort between unions, student and non-profit groups.
  • The unions include the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the AFL-CIO and SEIU. Student groups include Student Veterans of America and the U.S. Student Association. Non-profit groups include The Education Trust and the Center for American Progress.
  • The campaign is calling for increased attention to college affordability, existing student loan debt and the effect private investment banks are having on student loan borrowing. Many of the members of the campaign have dismissed proposals like the one introduced earlier this year by a group of Democrats in the Michigan Legislature creating a "pay it forward" program that would allow in-state students to receive interest-free tuition loans in exchange for paying a percentage of their income back for up to 25 years.
  • Skeptics, including The Education Trust, AFT and NEA, said in a letter to state and federal lawmakers that the "pay it forward" proposal does little to address the actual cost of education. And it doesn't help raise state contributions to higher education.

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