Campus Progress compiled this amazing fact sheet on how Mitt Romney has handled any and all questions relating to student debt."Enjoy."
1. If you can’t afford a student loan, just borrow money from your parents.
“We’ve always encouraged young people: Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business.” – Mitt Romney at Otterbein University in Ohio, 4/27/2012.
2. “Shop around” or join the military to make higher education more affordable.
“The legislature in my state came together and said, ‘You know what, anyone that’s willing to serve in the National Guard, we’ll provide for tuition and fees for four years of college to make sure you get that start.’ So if you’re willing to serve, then we can be of more help. But my best advice is find a great institution of higher learning, find one that has the right price, and shop around. In America, this idea of competition, it works! [...] I want to make sure that every kid in this country that wants to go to college gets the chance to go to college. If you can’t afford it, scholarships are available, shop around for loans, make sure you go to a place that’s reasonably priced, and if you can, think about serving the country ’cause that’s a way to get all that education for free.” – Mitt Romney in Youngstown, Ohio, 3/5/2012
3. Let’s put the money from student loans back into the pockets of Wall Street.
“Now that the government’s taking over the student loan business, I think you’ll get less competition. I’d rather have more competition, with private lenders as well as government lenders,” Romney said. “The right course for America is for businesses and universities and colleges to compete, and for us to make sure that we provide loans to the extent we possibly can at an interest rate that doesn’t have the taxpayers having to subsidize people who want to go to school… I know there will be some who get up in a setting like this and give you a bunch of government money, free stuff… but that’s not who I am.” – Mitt Romney in Toledo, Ohio, 2/29/2012Romney switched his position in late April as the student loan interest rate debate started to heat up, despite his earlier stance that government was not responsible for helping students pay back their loans.
4. Don’t go to a college you can’t afford because the government isn’t going to help you out.
“It would be popular for me to stand up and say I’m going to give you government money to pay for your college, but I’m not going to promise that,” Romney said. “Don’t just go to one that has the highest price. Go to one that has a little lower price where you can get a good education. And hopefully you’ll find that. And don’t expect the government to forgive the debt that you take on.” – Mitt Romney in Youngstown, Ohio, 3/5/2012“I think this is a land of opportunity for every single person, every single citizen of this great nation. And I want to make sure that we keep America a place of opportunity, where everyone has a fair shot. They get as much education as they can afford and with their time they’re able to get and if they have a willingness to work hard and the right values, they ought to be able to provide for their family and have a shot of realizing their dreams.” – Mitt Romney in Sterling, Virginia, 6/27/2012
5. Support the Romney-Ryan budget plan, which hacks away at education funding.
“I’m very supportive of the Ryan budget plan. It’s a bold and exciting effort on his part and on the part of the Republicans and it’s very much consistent with what I put out earlier. I think it’s amazing that we have a president who three and a half years in still hasn’t put a proposal out that deals with entitlements. This president’s dealing with entitlement reform — excuse me — this budget deals with entitlement reform, tax policy, which as you know is very similar to the one that I put out and efforts to reign in excessive spending. I applaud it. It’s an excellent piece of work and very much needed.” – Mitt Romney in Chicago, 3/20/2012.It’s worth noting that the Ryan budget plan would cut $200 billion from the Pell Grant program and would negatively impact more than 1 million students. In addition, student loan rates would double.
The state of student debt is scary.The total amount of student loan debt keeps growing, as does the average student loan balance for student loan debtors. Americans now owe more in student debt than they do in auto loans or credit cards.Despite new rules to clarify the discharge process for some disabled borrowers, student loans have the potential to follow borrowers for the rest of their lives. They are one of the rare types of loans that cannot be automatically discharged in bankruptcy. And not all student debtors are young people. A growing number of middle-aged Americans are struggling with college debt, either from their own college days or their children's. People in their 40s owe, on average, $6,000 more in student loan debt than people under 30.It's not all bad news. Some states are taking advantage of the exploding student debt problem. If you've been looking to move to Niagara Falls or Kansas, there is a solution for you. Several cities and states are paying off student loan debt to attract qualified workers.What ideas to you have to help with our student debt problem? Share them in the comments below.
Alexis Frymoyer, a St. Petersburg resident and 2010 college graduate who has $40,000 in student loan debt, described during the conference call how her debt has paralyzed not only her financial future but that of her family.She is unable to pursue the remainder of education she needs because she cannot afford to take on more student loan debt. And she is unable to qualify for a mortgage beyond $40,000, which she said means she is forced to continue paying rental rates that are higher than a mortgage payment would be.Frymoyer worked four part-time jobs last year "just to make ends meet," she said. Her student loans will take an estimated 25 years to be paid off.Read additional stories Rebuild the Dream community members shared with the press below.Florida: Students, grads daunted by debt, despite degree, The News-PressFlorida: Stafford Loan drama scares students, Bradenton HeraldNevada: Student Loans Run Deeper Than College, CBS Local KXNT NewsRadioIllinois: Loan Moan, Alton Daily News/WBGZ RadioIllinois: Buddy, can you spare a dime for college?, The Northwest Herald
Hi there,Yesterday I went to the White House to see President Obama sign the bill that would keep the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans at 3.4%.I took some pictures... they probably won't win any awards, but I tried:
This bill needed to be passed. It took months of hard work from everyone: campaigners, organizers, researchers, and policy wonks at organizations like Campus Progress, US PIRG, the US Students Association, CREDO, and Rebuild the Dream -- and the tens of thousands of folks who signed petitions, made calls, wrote letters, and shared their student debt stories.But we really, really, really aren't finished here. Keeping the interest rate at 3.4% is the very least that must be done. It's a small step. Just a few days after the bill passed, this happened -- it was a decision that was made months ago, and just recently went into effect:
Lawmakers ended a long-standing program that pays the interest on federally subsidized loans for six months after a student graduates from college. The change applies to new loans issued through July 2014...."It really makes the loans kind of unpredictable and hard to understand for students and families when these changes are happening through the budget process," said Megan McClean, managing director of policy and federal relations for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, a trade group.
No more grace period. That is unacceptable.When I graduated in 2011, I relied on that interest-free grace period so I could get my life in check. I knew I had 6 months to start paying back my government loans (private student loans? Had to start paying those off immediately) and didn't have to worry about interest building up.I took the money I saved up by working throughout high school and college and moved to Washington, D.C. so I could immediately start working and saving more. I was used to living on my own and I'd been financially independent since starting college. I'd made sure to have a string of good internships to build up a strong resume. Throughout college, it was always in the back of my mind that I'd have to start paying off my loans not long after graduating.That interest-free six months saved me money so I could take a gamble by moving to D.C. and make some big life decisions. That's what you do after college, right?America can't afford to not fund education. When, as a country, you're gearing students up to go to college, you shouldn't just suddenly wipe your hands clean when they hit 18 and say, "Sorry, you're on your own now." And then shovel them off to the side and hit them with high-interest loans, or suddenly take away a 6-month grace period. What message is that sending to students? To young people?We have so far to go, but this campaign was hugely important. It opened up a conversation about student loan debt. It made it a political issue. As young people and students, we have so much support from people all across America. It's exciting. Now we need to keep the momentum going and organize!Let's go!
Today, President Obama signed a bill that will save students billions of dollars. But Congress didn't send him this bill out of the goodness of their hearts. Last December, Congress eliminated the grace period and lower interest rates for graduate students in budget negotiations -- the only difference now is that students stood up this time to save their benefits.Rebuild the Dream, along with the US Student Association, US PIRG, and Campus Progress, were on the forefront of this issue. Rebuild the Dream members did thousands of phone calls, letters, and more to prevent interest rates from doubling. More than that, they proved that when a group of dedicated people stand up -- they can win.Check out this infographic of all the work you did to make this happen and share or tweet it to tell your friends.
'A Personal Sense of Relief' -- Rebuild the Dream Community Members Share Their Reactions On 'Don't Double'
You Did It! You Told Congress, "Don't Double My Rate," and They Listened
How did one movement save students millions of dollars?
Storified by Rebuild the Dream · Mon, Jul 02 2012 19:39:40
- 330,000 letters and petition signatures
- 16,000 phone calls
- 1 million+ views for our 6 Things You Should Know infographic
- 15,000+ views for our powerful video
- 1,100 heartfelt stories shared on our interactive map
- 3,200 Letters to the Editor; read one member's letter in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- 1 full-page ad in Politico, funded by small dollar donations (I love this ad -- it's so powerful)
Every day, politicians read their morning papers, which are filled with ads from well-funded organizations, trade groups and SuperPACs. This week, they got one from the everyday Americans they represent.
Over 1,000 Rebuild the Dream members pitched in to publish this ad, reminding Congress that while we may not have the same lobbying power student loan providers may have, we do have voting power. Now Washington is taking notice, and members of Congress will remember this as they vote on the bill to prevent Stafford loan rates from doubling.This vote could happen any time in the next two days, and it's more important than ever to call your Senators and tell them to keep student loan rates affordable. Click here to find your representatives and make the call.
A big dealOn July 1, the interest rate on government-subsidized Stafford loans will double. College students can't take on more debt, yet Congress hasn't made any substantial moves to prevent the rate from doubling.When banks can borrow money at near-zero percent interest, it is absurd for the interest rates to double for student loans.Student loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion. Congress should be told that students can't afford for the interest rate to double. This is a big deal.Patrick from St. LouisDid you read another Don't Double My Rate letter in your local paper? Or did your letter get published? Share in the comments!