Student Loan Debt Graduation Cap and Money
Press Release
August 26, 2016
Media Contact
Mike Browne, Deputy Director
(608) 444-3483
Cody Oliphant

What Is it With Republican Support of For-Profit College Scams?

Scott Walker + ITT Tech, Ron Johnson + Globe University & of Course, Trump University

MADISON, Wis. — With the for-profit “college” ITT Tech under increasing scrutiny and with state and federal regulators handing down penalties for shady business practices, the question remains: Why did Gov. Scott Walker conduct a photo-op at the Greenfield ITT Tech site? ITT has been barred by federal regulators from accepting new students using federal financial aid and by Wisconsin regulators from accepting new state students. Adding to the cloud of scandal, ITT is also under investigation by multiple attorneys general, as well as the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for deceptive and abusive practices against students.

Walker is not the only Wisconsin elected official to embrace the predatory for-profit cartel, which includes 26,000 current students in Wisconsin paying annual tuition of $150 million. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson delivered what he termed a “state of the nation” speech at the private, for profit Globe University in Green Bay, after having infamously said the solution to the nation’s $1 trillion-plus student loan debt crisis was more for-profit colleges. And just last week, One Wisconsin Now first reported on Johnson’s extraordinary comments that professors could be replace by having students watch Ken Burns’ Civil War “tape.”

“Scott Walker and Ron Johnson oppose allowing more than 500,000 Wisconsin student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can a mortgage,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director, “But Walker and Johnson support the morally bankrupt for-profit college industry that preys on veterans, older Americans, people of color and those living in poverty.”

ITT Tech which operates 145 campuses in 35 states and is one of four for-profit colleges under investigation by multiple attorneys general across the country. Today the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that questions about the financial viability of ITT have resulted in the state Educational Approval Board suspending the school from enrolling Wisconsin students. The chain is also under investigation in a separate inquiry by CFPB for “predatory student lending,” alleging ITT pushed students into high-cost private student loans and used high-pressure tactics.

Further, ITT Tech focused intently on luring returning soldiers from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars into signing up. A comprehensive 2012 report authored by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) concluded ITT : “Documents also demonstrate a focus on recruiting students eligible for military benefits. ITT is the second highest recipient of post-9/11 GI bill funds, taking in $178 million between 2009 and 2011. In 2009, ITT initiated a military marketing plan with the goal of increasing military enrollments by 20 percent at 42 selected campuses.” [Page 530]

Meanwhile It has been reported that 96 percent of Globe students take out student loans and graduate with an average of nearly $45,000 in debt. Globe also partners with another company to provide loans to students with interest rates massively higher than market rates, usually in the 18 percent range. Current and former students at Globe University sued in a class action lawsuit over allegations of misleading and deceptive practices by the institution.

“Republicans like Walker and Johnson want less oversight and less regulation of these domestic war profiteers and loan sharks,” said Ross. “And we haven’t even started on Trump ‘University.’”

The for-profit “college” bearing the moniker of Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump has been under scrutiny by the courts and the press for business practices that left students deep in debt with little to show for their time and money.

The student loan refinance legislation Johnson opposed was authored by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin. Walker opposes the Wisconsin “Higher Ed, Lower Debt” bill for refinancing of loans for Wisconsin student loan borrowers. Neither bill creates any new net cost to taxpayers. Both Hillary Clinton and Russ Feingold have fully endorsed the refinancing of student loans, which would immediately help 25 million Americans.

# # #

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

paul ryan
Press Release

Report: Speaker Paul Ryan to Retire at End of 2018

A national publication today reported that Speaker Paul Ryan may retire from Congress at the end of his term in 2018.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
12/14/2017
u.s. senator from wisconsin ron johnson
Press Release

Ron Johnson Must Apologize for Equating Sexual Assault of Children with ‘Dating’

One Wisconsin Now is demanding Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) immediately apologize for equating the sexual assault of a 14-year-old with “dating.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
12/13/2017
us capitol building
Press Release

Will Sen. Ron Johnson Put His Own Pocketbook Before Principle?

Rush is On to Pass GOP Tax Giveaway That Could Include ‘Badger Bribe’ Before Newly-Elected Democratic U.S. Senator Doug Jones Takes Seat
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
12/13/2017
wisconsin state senator leah vukmir
Press Release

Leah Vukmir Goes 'Back to the Future' With Outrageous Claim

Unless GAB had a secret time machine, it is impossible for Leah Vukmir to claim they targeted her in 2012 for something she did in late 2015.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
12/11/2017
seat at table
Press Release

Ron Johnson’s ‘Seat at the Table’ Doesn’t Include Actual Seat at Table

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson was left off conference committee on GOP tax giveaway after bragging he would personally protect his ‘Badger Bribe’
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
12/08/2017
scott walker in front of stars and stripes and money
Press Release

Scott Walker Extends Craven Campaign Cash Chase to Foreign Policy

Scott Walker has endorsed Donald Trump’s controversial announcement that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
12/07/2017
accountant calculator
In the News

The Federal Tax Code Is the Latest Weapon in GOP Assault on Higher Education

Several provisions in the tax bill being advanced by Congressional Republicans target student loan borrowers, students, and the schools they attend.
The Progressive
12/04/2017
u.s. senator from wisconsin ron johnson
Press Release

Ron Johnson Gets His ‘Badger Bribe’ to Vote for Disastrous Tax Cut Plan

Ron Johnson was bought off by getting his company a new tax break and he didn’t even hide it. If this ‘Badger Bribe’ isn’t a crime, it should be.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
12/01/2017