Senator Elizabeth Warren continues to advocate for those suffering under major student loan debt, most recently by helping launch a multi-year campaign called Higher Ed Not Debt. The movement is sponsored by a coalition of progressive groups including the AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, Jobs with Justice, Student Veterans of America and Young Invincibles, among many others. These groups have banded together to combat student debt and fight for meaningful change.
Higher Ed Not Debt is pushing for affordable and accessible higher education without the associated price tag of extreme financial hardship it comes with for so many. They are operating under these four core principles:
#1 To offer support to borrowers paying on the $1.2 trillion student loan debt in the US
#2 Tackle the rising cost of college, declining quality and changes in state educational funding
#3 To educate the public about Wall Street’s enabling of the massive amount of student debt
#4 Nationwide, bipartisan civic engagement to reach people of all demographics and economic strata
Senator Warren spoke at the formal launch of the #HigherEdNotDebt campaign along with Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers. Warren told the crowd, “Student loan debt is crushing our college students and dragging down our economy. We need to work together to bring down the rising cost of college and we need to help existing borrowers deal with their debt by allowing them to refinance their student loans at today’s lower interest rates.”
Weingarten added, “Higher education should be about expanding opportunity for the next generation, not a way for Wall Street and for-profit colleges to enrich themselves. We can no longer be a nation that tells our young people college is really important, while at the same time saddling them with crushing debt.” As part of Higher Ed Not Debt’s big launch on March 6th in Washington, D.C., at the Center for American Progress, the campaign held a marathon seven hour Twitter town hall @HigherEdNotDebt.
As always, we applaud the great work that Senator Warren is doing to shine a light on the student debt crisis and advocate for meaningful change. Only by escalating awareness and applying pressure on colleges, universities, for-profit schools, legislators, student loan lenders and servicers can we force the sea change that’s needed to help indebted students and graduates.
What’s particularly encouraging about Higher Ed Not Debt is the effort Warren and the campaign are making to search for solutions for those already in debt. Most of the most recent legislation at the state and national level is focused on present and future borrowers and isn’t offering solutions for those already saddled with monumental debt and struggling to get by. This is a great campaign and we encourage you to support it.
To help Higher Ed Not Debt succeed, here’s what you can do:
#1 Take the Higher Ed Not Debt survey
#2 Join the Higher Ed Not Debt movement
#3 Sign the Higher Ed Not Debt petition
#4 Share your student loan story with Higher Ed Not Debt
#5 Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about student loans
In addition to the nationwide student loan crisis, you may be having a personal one. To track your student debt, sign up for Tuition.io’s free student loan tool to see what you owe, monitor payments, explore repayment plans and more. Also read our blog daily for news on student loan activism, legislation and tips on dealing with your debt.