Grad Student Debt Rising

March 25, 2014; Michael Stratford
Published at Inside Higher Ed

The amount of debt that graduate and professional students are incurring to pay for their education has surged over the past several years, according to a New American Foundation report released today.

Analyzing federal data, the think tank found that the median overall indebtedness for a borrower who earned a graduate degree increased — in inflation-adjusted dollars — from $40,209 in 2004 to $57,600 in 2012. The figure includes loans from both undergraduate programs and graduate and professional degrees.

Much of that increase was fueled by students, across a broad range of disciplines, taking out more money to pay for their graduate education, according to the report, written by Jason Delisle, director of New America’s Federal Education Budget Project.


Labor expert Robert Bruno

Published on 11/25/2013 by the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.

Robert Bruno is a professor of labor and employment relations at the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois. In an interview with News Bureau business and law editor Phil Ciciora, Bruno, also the director of the Labor Education Program in Chicago, discusses the movement to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour.

A recent Gallup poll indicates that more than 75 percent of Americans approve of increasing the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour. Is $9 per hour enough, or should it be even higher?

Read more, click here.

GAU Gives Thanks

Those of us at Graduate Assistants United would like to offer our sincere and heartfelt thanks to all our members, your family and loved ones.  We are thankful for what you do to make our lives as GA’s a little bit better.

Please enjoy a safe and relaxing holiday break.  Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah!

With respect and thanks,

Matt Ryg, President

Union Election, Not NLRB Vote

By Scott Jaschik; published on 11/27/2014 at Inside Higher Ed.

Graduate teaching assistants at New York University could be represented by a union as early as next year, under a deal announced Tuesday afternoon.

Under the deal between NYU and the United Auto Workers, an election is expected next month on whether graduate teaching assistants would like to be represented by the UAW. If they vote yes, as is expected, NYU would become the first private university since 2005 with unionized TAs. Under the agreement, both sides agreed to withdraw a case currently before the National Labor Relations Board on the legal right of private university graduate students to unionize. That case had the potential to set a new precedent on the issue, which is currently governed by a 2004 ruling denying that right.

To read more click here.

GAU is seeking…

Graduate Assistants United is seeking a member-representative to the Illinois Education Association’s Political Action Committee for Education (IPACE).

The Higher Education Grassroots Political Action’s (GPA) goal is to keep members up to date on all government action that is going on in Springfield. 

The position calls for three weekend trips to Springfield, paid for by IPACE (Illinois Political Action Committee for Education) where the GPA receives the latest updates on educational issues and how our legislators vote on them.  Members recommend politicians and keep track of their voting records via our lobbyists.  

The position is for 6 years but a representative does not have to serve that long.  The GPA must be a member of IEA, and gets a $1000 stipend for travel expenses and a $900 budget for events they may want to sponsor. It is a lot of fun and the information is face paced.  The representative must attend Regional council meetings and give a monthly report. 

Contact GAU for more information.

5 Campus Resources Every Graduate Student Should Use

Posted at Inside Higher Ed on 11/5/2013 by Justin Dunnavant.
University campuses can be like mini-communities unto themselves. They have recreation centers, dining halls, libraries, computer labs, and much more. But most students are unaware of the wide breadth of services financed by school-related fees. Here are the five campus resources that every graduate student should know and use.  Read more; click here.

Speak Out for a Union Friendly President at SIU

The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees will be hosting Open Forums to gather input from the University Community for the selection of the next President of Southern Illinois University.  Please show up and speak out for a Union friendly President of SIU.

Open Forums are scheduled as follows:

Thursday, November 14, at 11:30 a.m., Conference Center, Morris University Center, SIU Edwardsville.

Thursday, December 12, at 11:30 a.m., Ballroom B, Student Center, SIU Carbondale.