donald trump ron johnson
Press Release
June 10, 2016
Media Contact
Mike Browne, Deputy Director
(608) 444-3483
Cody Oliphant

Ron Johnson’s Bad Endorsement: Trump U as Solution to Student Loan Debt Crisis

Call for More for-Profit Colleges as Solution to Student Debt Crisis as Wrongheaded as Saying Donald Trump Qualified to Be President

MADISON, Wis. — U.S. Senator Ron Johnson continues to stand by his endorsement of Donald Trump, despite numerous and continuing incidents displaying an alarming lack of judgement and a disturbingly racist and misogynistic world view. As details of emerge about the unsavory practices of Donald Trump’s for-profit donaldwith little or no actual education, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross wondered if Johnson will continue to endorse more for-profit colleges as a solution to the $1.3 trillion student loan debt crisis.

“There is a $1.3 trillion student loan debt crisis today that impacts over 43 million Americans, including nearly one million in Wisconsin,” said Ross. “Revelations about the shady practices of the for-profit college run by Ron Johnson’s pick for President shine a light on how wrong he is in his choice of solutions to the student loan debt crisis.”

As reported by the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram:

“Asked about rapidly rising college debt during a question-and-answer session, Johnson said he’d like to see more for-profit colleges enter the market. He said more competition in the market place would help.”

Scrutiny of the for-profit college industry has increased in recent years, and what has been uncovered is unsavory. Practices that have come to light include how the industry targets veterans, minorities and low income students, encourages them to take on large student debts, and oftentimes leaves those who graduate with essentially worthless degrees.

Trump University, the for-profit college owned by Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, is charged with having engaged in tactics that left students deep in debt with little to show for their time and money. While no longer operating, Trump University is mired in multiple lawsuits with allegations ranging from racketeering to illegal business practices. According to news reports 12 Wisconsin students are among many former students from across the country filing a class-action lawsuit.

For his part, millionaire Sen. Johnson has voted repeatedly against allowing borrowers to refinance their student loans, just like you can with a mortgage, and has blamed students themselves as causes of the crises of student loan debt and college affordability, based on his experience in the mid-1970s, when his tuition at the University of Minnesota was 1,700 percent lower than it is today. He has also suggested that the federal government should not be involved in helping students with low interest loans or other means to help fund students’ higher education.

Ross concluded, “Sen. Johnson’s call for more for-profit colleges as a solution to the student loan debt crisis is as wrongheaded as saying the owner of the shady and scandal plagued Trump University is qualified to be President.”

# # #

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

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