Showing posts with label student loan debt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label student loan debt. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

US Department of Education Projects Increasing Higher Ed Enrollment From 2024-2030. Really? (Dahn Shaulis and Glen McGhee)

The US Department of Education (ED) continues to paint rosy projections about higher education enrollment despite harsh economic and demographic realities--and increasing skepticism about the value of college degrees.  

Image from Digest of Education Statistics (2022) 

Since 2011, higher education enrollment has declined every year--a more than decade long trend. The Covid pandemic of 2020 to 2022 made matters worse with domestic and foreign enrollment-- (temporarily) ameliorated by government bailouts and untested online education.  Foreign enrollment continues to languish. And the enrollment cliff of 2026, a ripple effect of the 2008 Great Recession, is now just around the corner. 

ED is projecting enrollment losses in 2022 and 2023, but why is it projecting enrollment gains from 2024 to 2030?  Apparently, one of the problems is with old and faulty Census projections made during the Trump era that were not corrected.

Based on these Census numbers and other factors, the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) projects increases in high school graduation numbers.  The Western Interstate Commission for Higher (WICHE), in contrast, projects declines in high school graduates starting about 2025. (see graph below). 



For ED, relying on overly optimistic projections for high school graduates creates a statistical train wreck that's made even worse by what's not in their formula.  

Popular opinion about college has been declining for years, and there is no indication that attitudes will improve.  A growing number of younger folks have joined the "educated underclass," becoming disaffected by underemployment and oppressive student loan debt.  While progressive policies could change attitudes, deep skepticism about the value of education is an important statistical wildcard.

This is not the first time that the Higher Education Inquirer has questioned overly optimistic US Department of Education projections. While NCES has updated projections from time to time, it seems to have relied too much on the past and been too slow to change.  

Related link:  Millennials are the first generation to prove a college degree may not be worth it, and Gen Z may be next (Chloe Berger, Forbes/Yahoo Finance)

Related link: America’s Colleges & Universities Awarded $12.5 Billion In Coronavirus Bailout – Who Can Get It And How Much (Adam Andrzejewski, Forbes)

Related link: Online Postsecondary Education and Labor Productivity (Caroline Hoxby)

Related link: U.S. Universities Face Headwinds In Recruiting International Students (Michael T. Nietzel, Forbes)

Related link: Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education (Nathan Grawe)

Related link Why U.S. Population Growth Is Collapsing (Derek Thompson, The Atlantic)

Related link: Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2021 (Federal Reserve)

Related link: Many US States Have Seen Enrollment Drops of More Than 20 Percent (Glen McGhee and Dahn Shaulis) 

Related link: Community Colleges at the Heart of the College Meltdown

Related link: Projections of Education Statistics to 2028 (NCES)

Related link: US Department of Education Fails to Recognize College Meltdown (2017)

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Maximus, Student Loan Debt, and the Poverty Industrial Complex

The Higher Education Inquirer is taking a close look at who's invested in Maximus, the enormous social welfare profiteer. Maximus has been servicing student loan defaulters for years and has now taken over Navient's federal student loan business, branding it Aidvantage

Since 1995, Maximus (MMS) has grown from $50 million in annual revenues to more than $4 billion in 2021. 

Maximus (MMS) Share Price 1995-2022
(Source: Seeking Alpha) 

With an army of more than 35,000 workers, Maximus' clients include 28 US agencies: the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Bureau of the Census, Patent and Trademark Office, Federal Student Aid, Department of Defense and US Army, Department of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Medicare and Medicaid, Department of Labor, Office of Personnel Management, Securities and Exchange Commission and many more. 

As a contractor to Federal Student Aid (FSA), Maximus has more than 13 million student loans to service.  Its four contracts with the US Department of Education total almost $1 Billion.  

While CEO Bruce Caswell made more than $6 million in total compensation last year, Maximus' customer service representatives, the people who have to make the calls to the growing number of student loan defaulters, make less money than workers at Walmart. 

Maximus has recently posted federally contracted jobs on Indeed for $13.15 an hour in Texas and South Carolina, even though the federal minimum wage has been raised to $15 an hour. Wages for Maximus workers in other states are reportedly even lower, as little as $10 an hour in Kentucky and other states with regressive economies.   

Maximus' largest institutional investors include BlackRockVanguard Group, and State Street Corp--three financial behemoths.  BlackRock has $10 trillion in Assets Under Management (AUM), Vanguard Group has about $7 Trillion in Assets Under Management, and State Street has almost $4 Trillion in AUM. 

Bank of New York Mellon, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America each own 900,000 shares or more. 

Public retirement funds, including public school teachers retirement funds (see table below), are directly and indirectly invested in the Poverty Industrial Complex and the student loan mess through Maximus and other large corporations. 


Maximus' strategic partners include AWS, Microsoft, Oracle, and Cisco.  

Social justice advocates have to wonder, how can the student loan system be fixed if the US establishment has a vested interested in the mess?  
 
Maximus (MMS) Top Institutional Investors 



List of Public Funds Directly Invested in Maximus

Alaska Department of Revenue 
California PERS
California State Teachers Retirement System
Colorado PERS
Florida Retirement System
Pennsylvania Public School Retirement System
Teachers Retirement System of Kentucky
Louisiana State Employees Retirement System
Ohio PERS 
New Mexico Educational Retirement Board
New York State Retirement System
New York State Teachers Retirement System
Ontario Teachers Retirement System
Oregon PERS
State of Tennessee Treasury
Teachers Retirement System of Texas
State of Wisconsin Investment Board










Monday, August 31, 2020

Student Loan Volumes Show College Meltdown Has Accelerated

According to Ken Miller at The Century Foundation, volumes decreased 10 percent at public colleges, 18 percent at for-profit colleges, and 20 percent at private non-profit colleges.  

And according to Mark Kantrowitz, new student loan volumes were down 42 percent

Student loan volumes were especially low at subprime schools University of Phoenix (-48%), Walden University (-48%)Ashford University (-56%), and Colorado Tech (-43%) and state flagship universities, University of Washington (-95%), Ohio State (-68%), Penn State (-51%), Temple University (-47%), and University of Texas-Austin (-41%).  

Elite private universities Columbia University (-87%), Boston University (-55%) and Georgetown (-39%) also saw big losses in student loan volume. 

While schools with large endowments will be able to cover these dramatic losses, those with less in alternative revenue streams and endowments will have to make tough decisions, in many cases cutting costs through layoffs in 2021.   

Numbers for the 4th quarter, posted in November after the election, could be even worse, at least in absolute terms.  The loss of these funds may not only hurt colleges and their employees, but also college towns.  Federal student loan fiscal year numbers will also be reported in November.  

In late December 2020, the National Student Clearinghouse will post national enrollment numbers which may parallel declining student loan volumes.  The greatest income losses, however, may come from losses from room and board revenues.  

Related Links:






Thursday, July 11, 2019

Music Videos of the College Meltdown


While I was updating my College Meltdown bibliography and writing a review of College is Bullshi*t, I found an enormous number of Youtube music videos dedicated to student loan debt. Scholarly sources are fine, but they don't get people to move. These videos vary in quality and genre, from blues to rap, to pop, heavy metal, and country. But you gotta listen. My favorites are Eatin' Me Alive by Ramy B. and Dee-1's Sallie Mae Back. An extremely popular tune, Stressed Out by Twenty-one Pilots, has just one line about student loan debt, but definitely hits on the consequences of youth and making choices.

Works Cited
B., Ramy. “EATIN' ME ALIVE (STUDENT LOAN RAP).” YouTube, YouTube, 10 Feb. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=C44O_GUtcQs.

chescaleigh. “BeyoncĂ© ‘Countdown’ Parody: Student Loan Countdown.” YouTube, YouTube, 8 Oct. 2011, www.youtube.com/watch?v=96KiSEMHy7Y.



Cornell, Charles. “Student Loans, You've Got Me By The Balls - Charles Cornell.” YouTube, YouTube, 12 June 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aJWUA3-E0E%2Bhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv.



Dee1music. “Dee-1 - Sallie Mae Back (Official Video).” YouTube, YouTube, 11 Feb. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqbXQa05Z6c.

Dorsey, C. Richaude. “Studen Loan Song.” YouTube, YouTube, 3 Nov. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZG8H-1pwu4%2Bhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv.

ebonysongstress. “Student Loan Song by C. Richaude.” YouTube, YouTube, 5 Jan. 2008, www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILcTrUHqHa0&list=PLBiTf7f_nVjgtZ7HCrrPEHY9xvIIHSkXd.

Grosscup, Ben. “‘Four Years of College’ (Parody of ‘Sixteen Tons’ by Ben Grosscup).” YouTube, YouTube, 28 Feb. 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sWosZ2qshc

Hammer, Dave. “Student Loan Blues.” YouTube, YouTube, 2 Apr. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQtb8EtD458%2Bhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv.

Harris, Lisa E. “Sally Mizzle (The Student Loan Song).” YouTube, YouTube, 6 Oct. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WHXc7FTkPQ.



Lazer, Glenn. “Student Debt Metal Song.” YouTube, YouTube, 13 June 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5JBNcTDtVo%2Bhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv.



pincgator. “PINC GATOR STUDENT LOAN SONG.” YouTube, YouTube, 29 Oct. 2008, www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD8KVaMbF7E.

“Twenty One Pilots: Stressed Out [OFFICIAL VIDEO].” YouTube, YouTube, 27 Apr. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXRviuL6vMY.



Wilson, David. “Simple Mind (The Student Loan Song) by David Wilson.” YouTube, YouTube, 6 June 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDVtuoPmTPQ%2Bhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv.
?v=_sWosZ2qshc.