Student Loan Debt Graduation Cap and Money
Press Release
August 23, 2016
Media Contact
Mike Browne, Deputy Director
(608) 444-3483
Cody Oliphant

Gov. Scott Walker Does Nothing for One Million Student Loan Borrowers

While Walker Blocks Student Loan Refinancing Plan, Wisconsin Has Risen to 3rd Highest in Nation in Grads With Student Debt

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker’s election-year grandstanding on the student loan debt crisis after cutting $1 billion from universities and technical colleges and his opposition to the Higher Ed, Lower Debt student loan refinancing plan “insults the intelligence of every student loan borrower in the state of Wisconsin.”

“Gov. Scott Walker has once again failed the student loan borrowers of Wisconsin,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Wisconsin has nearly one million student loan borrowers who have almost $20 billion in debt and Gov. Walker and the Republican legislature is stopping them from having the chance to refinance their loans at lower interest rates, just like you can with a mortgage.”

Gov. Walker has presided over Wisconsin rising from 10th, when he took office, to 3rd highest in the entire nation for percentage of graduates with student loan debt — a full 70 percent of grads. At the same time, Walker opposes the student loan debt reform Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill, which would allow hundreds of thousands of student loan borrowers across Wisconsin to refinance their loans, just like you can a mortgage, at lower, market-based rates, and at no cost to taxpayers.

Walker’s $1 billion in higher education slashing comes while he has put billions of dollars in tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest Wisconsinites on the state’s credit card. Walker’s bad decisions have increased student loan debt as students have to stay in college longer as required courses are less available. In addition, Walker has turned out-of-state students into cash cows for the university system, making it more likely in-state students will be denied the chance to attend the UW campus of their choosing.

“Students and their families are doing the right thing – they’re working hard to get their education and they’ve taken on the personal responsibility to pay for it,” concluded Ross. “But Gov. Walker is making education less and less affordable, with serious consequences for our state economy and the best he can do is apparently hold photo ops with bureaucrats.”

A 2015 report by One Wisconsin Institute and the national think tank, Demos entitled, “Wisconsin’s Great Cost Shift: How Higher Education Cuts Undermine the State’s Future Middle Class,” showed that declining financial support for higher education by the state of Wisconsin has shifted costs onto students and families, increased student loan debt and decreased the affordability of higher education The study found the confluence of the these factors is “endangering the quality of its institutions of higher learning, threatening the state’s economic competitiveness and the future of its young people.”

Gov. Walker and the Republican majority in the state legislature have enacted the largest cuts to public education, including repeated cuts totaling $1 billion to the University of Wisconsin and the state technical college system. In addition UW students and their families were hit with a double digit tuition increase in the 2011 state budget along with stagnant levels of state financial aid. In fact, state student financial aid programs were so underfunded that over 40,000 eligible students were denied assistance last year.

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

shannon zimmerman on language of women video still
Press Release

Shannon Zimmerman Video Raises Red Flags About Attitude Toward Women

The statement from Shannon Zimmerman – an announced candidate for a vacant State Senate seat – that women shouldn't be believed is a huge red flag.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/21/2017
silhouette shouting into megaphone
In the News

Chet Agni: Board of Regents chills free speech for students of color

Like students across the state, I was shocked by the Board of Regents’ new policy attacking free speech on University of Wisconsin System campuses.
Capital Times
11/16/2017
wisconsin supreme court
Press Release

One Wisconsin Now Calls for Probe of Michael Screnock

Recent newspaper reports detail the arrests of Michael Screnock and his failure to fully disclose the incidents on his application for a judicial appointment.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/16/2017
voters voting
Press Release

Institute Praises Milwaukee Action to Expand Early Voting Opportunities

Voting rights advocates are celebrating passage of a budget provision adding early voting sites in the City of Milwaukee.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
11/15/2017
us capitol building
Press Release

Gov. Scott Walker Joins ‘If It’s True’ Crowd

Meanwhile in an interview broadcast on Sunday, Gov. Scott Walker, joined those offering aid and comfort to Moore by falling back on the “if it’s true” refrain.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/13/2017
scott walker in a hole
Press Release

Statements on Gov. Scott Walker Signing Foxconn Contract

Scott Walker literally signed away our future, agreeing to a contract to send billions of our tax dollars to boost the bottom line of a foreign corporation.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/10/2017
hand holding phone displaying twitter
In the News

Scot Ross: RT if you support the First Amendment

Free speech is not just for the people or organizations whom our state elected officials like or with whom they agree.
Capital Times
11/10/2017
ron johnson
Press Release

Ron Johnson’s Failure to Confront Sexual Abuse Continues

Ron Johnson Offers Only Qualified Condemnation of Sourced Reporting of Abuse of Teens, Minor Women by GOP U.S. Senate Candidate Roy Moore
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/10/2017