Dear Secretary Duncan:
We met briefly in the fall at a University of Chicago alumni event. I am the Promotional Writer and Dir. of Social Media Marketing and Fundraising for the Forgive Student Loan Debt Movement. Do you know how many supporters we have now? We have nearly 238,000 followers! I would assume that that number demonstrates the seriousness of the student lending crisis. I know that Robert and I are aware of how serious it is - we receive hundreds and hundreds of emails a week about it, and our following grows by the hundreds each day. Not only are students reaching out to me, but their parents!
I am sure you already read or are aware of the illuminating piece that Mark Kantrowitz wrote, correct? He just wrote an article about the horrors of going into default. Here's the link: http://www.fastweb.com/
Also, the ABA's proposal for student loan debt relief came out this week . . . that ought to get some attention, right?
We are aghast that no one on the Hill seems to care about this problem.
Many of our supporters received letters from your office, and they were quite disappointed by its generic tone (some even said they felt it was quite condescending). Just to clarify, we know that you do not "lobby" on the Hill. However, I know from experts who worked at the Dept. of Education that you can change things now. You have the power to help millions of people who are struggling to make ends meet. Many people are falling of the "grid" and going into default. We hope that you and the Obama Administration will take the student lending crisis seriously, and consider helping those in need.
If you and Mr. Obama truly believe in the value of higher education, you would take a close look at the rampant corruption and deceit that occurs in the student lending industry.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Ms. C. Cryn Johannsen