wisconsin capitol
Press Release
December 13, 2013

New Study Shows How System Squeezes Students and Families, Increasing Debt for Higher Ed and Job Training

One Wisconsin Now Calls for Restoring Fairness to Student Loan System

MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said a new report by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) points to the need for state legislation to help borrowers better manage student loan debt and help make their education or job training “pay.” The benefit, according to Ross and research from One Wisconsin Institute, would be a boost in consumer spending on key economic drivers like new vehicle and home purchases.

“The WISTAX study reveals how students and their families are increasingly being squeezed because of a system in which state support for higher education is being slashed and tuition is skyrocketing. And our earlier research at One Wisconsin Institute shows the fallout is rising student debt, $1.2 trillion nationally, and stifled economic activity,” commented Ross.

WISTAX found that from 2002 to 2013 the costs of education paid by University of Wisconsin students rose dramatically as state support for higher education dropped precipitously and tuition increased. This in turn forces students to take on higher levels of debt to fund their education.

Earlier research from One Wisconsin Institute showed the dramatic and negative impact of that debt on Wisconsin’s economy, directly resulting in over $200 million in lost new vehicle sales on an annual basis and leaving student loan borrowers with solid middle class incomes two-thirds more likely to rent versus own their home.

Legislation recently introduced by State Representative Cory Mason and Senator Dave Hansen, the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Act (Assembly Bill 496 and Senate Bill 378), would:

  • Create a state authority to help borrowers refinance their student loans, just like you can a home mortgage;
  • Allow borrowers to deduct their student loan payments on their state income taxes, just like you can with home mortgage interest;
  • Require borrowers be given detailed information before entering into loan agreements, offer counseling to students and parents on the implications of student loans and require the state to collect and disseminate information about private lenders and maintain a ranking system; and
  • Track information about student loan debt in the state to help policy makers better understand the depth and breadth of the debt crisis in Wisconsin.

He concluded, “We ought to do right by these students who are doing the right thing for themselves and their families, working hard and taking on the responsibility of paying for their education and job training to get a shot at the middle class. We need to restore fairness to the system with legislation like the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Act.”

# # #

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

american flag
In the News

Wisconsin progressives need to build a bigger boat

The divisive, distracted, disappointing quarter century of Scott Walker as a Wisconsin elected official could mean progressives will need a bigger boat in 2018.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
01/12/2018
wisconsin capitol
Press Release

Scott Walker Hypocrisy Reaches ‘Biblical Proportions’

Scott Walker has failed to express remorse for his own appearance as a featured speaker sharing a stage with white nationalists at a conference three weeks ago.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/08/2018
scott walker
Press Release

Gov. Scott Walker Praises Creators of Student Loan Debt Crisis

Scott Walker, who opposes a common sense student loan refinance plan, is “honoring” one of the nation’s most worst actors in the student loan crisis, Sallie Mae.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/05/2018
adam jarchow student loan debt
Press Release

Rep. Adam Jarchow Stars as ‘Jar Jar Banks’ In 10th Senate District Run

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross suggested Rep. Adam Jarchow has earned the moniker “Jar Jar Banks” for choosing banks over student loan borrowers.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/05/2018
donald trump drawing
Press Release

Trump Election Integrity Commission Disbanded

A federal commission on “election integrity”, announced with much fanfare by Donald Trump in 2017, was disbanded on Wednesday.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
01/04/2018
wisconsin capitol dome interior
Press Release

Closing Lincoln Hills Does Not Absolve Scott Walker, Brad Schimel

Scott Walker and Brad Schimel ignored and then repeatedly failed to act on the mounting crisis at Lincoln Hills.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/04/2018
until debt tear us apart painted on brick wall
Press Release

Wisconsin GOP Doing Nothing to Solve State’s $24B Student Loan Crisis

An Assembly Republican committee will hold a public hearing on legislation that “would do less than nothing” to solve the student loan crisis in Wisconsin.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/04/2018
adam jarchow in school lunch room
Press Release

Rep. Adam Jarchow’s Allies Promote Poor Shaming

While Adam Jarchow seeks to feather his own nest in the legislature, his right-wing allies are doing the dirty work of attacking his opponent.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/03/2018