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24 Oct, 2013

U.S. College Students in Competition on How to Solve National Debt


WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Up to Us announced its second annual nationwide competition challenging college students to increase awareness and engagement among their peers on an issue critical to their future – the nation’s long-term fiscal path. The competition, sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), and Net Impact, will bring together students from twenty-five colleges and universities across the country to participate.

“Last year at CGI U, I announced the $10,000 winner of the Up to Us competition, a partnership between CGI U, Net Impact, and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation,” said former U.S. President Clinton. “As we plan for CGI U 2014, I’m excited to see more students participating in this year’s challenge. They represent the next generation of leaders who have the ideas and resolve to face one of our nation’s biggest challenges.”

After a competitive, nationwide application process, student teams from around the country were selected to participate in the competition, including representatives from the following colleges and universities:

  • Bellarmine University
  • Belmont University
  • California State University, Fullerton
  • Duke University
  • George Washington University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Luther College
  • Miami University
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Pace University
  • Rice University
  • The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
  • The University of Texas-Pan American
  • Tufts University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Michigan
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • West Virginia Wesleyan College

Each student team of up to five core members will develop a campaign to educate and engage their campus community on America’s growing debt and how it could impact their future. At the end of the five-week campaign, each team will be assessed by a panel of distinguished judges on its effectiveness at raising awareness, increasing personal connections, and inspiring action on campus and beyond. Campus campaigns will run from Jan. 21 – Feb. 21, 2014. The winning team will be awarded a $10,000 cash prize, in addition to being recognized by President Clinton at CGI U 2014. More details on the competition will be released in the coming weeks.

“These students are among America’s best and brightest and they have an important voice in the conversation about our nation’s fiscal future,” said Pete Peterson, founder and Chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. “After all, it’s their generation that will be affected by decisions we make, or fail to make, about our long-term debt. I am proud to be working with the Clinton Global Initiative, Net Impact and America’s future leaders to raise awareness on this critical issue. I’m confident that the teams will advance great ideas and I look forward to hearing them.”

Budget experts agree that if the gap between federal revenue and spending is not reduced over the next 25 years, there will be serious consequences for our long-run growth and economic stability. Rising interest payments on the debt alone would leave fewer resources to invest in areas like education, infrastructure, and research, seriously debilitating the nation’s ability to ensure a positive economic outlook for future generations.

The first year of the competition included students at 10 schools who brought awareness to the long-term debt issue through creative campaigns, featuring flash mobs, petitions, videos and campus speaking events. The team from the University of Virginia was awarded first place, with the team from Brown University placing second and the University of Texas at Austin placing third.

“I’m excited to see how these students can build on last year’s creative campaigns,” said Liz Maw, Chief Executive Officer of Net Impact, a leading global nonprofit that empowers a new generation of leaders to work for a sustainable future. “Instead of standing on the sidelines, students are stepping up to engage their generation in this critical issue that affects their futures.”

Up to Us, a nationwide campus competition sponsored and managed by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative University and Net Impact, provides an opportunity for students to build a movement to raise awareness and engagement on America’s long-term fiscal and economic challenges. Twenty-five student teams selected from across the country compete to design and run thought-provoking, fun and impactful campaigns around the effects of rising debt on economic opportunity and investment in the future.