Higher Education Advocacy Highlights
Three decades ago, when student loan defaults first became an issue, we began fighting as an advocate for student rights and for the schools that serve at-risk students.
Our belief that “education is the vehicle for making dreams come true” has led us to fight to rectifying problems in the higher education industry.
Our founder, Mary Lyn Hammer, has led these efforts by working closely with Congressional Representatives and key staff at the U.S. Department of Education on many issues during her three-decade-long career to protect program integrity and the continued to educational opportunity access for students.
Champion’s Advocacy Highlights
Champion, under the direction of Mary Lyn Hammer, continues to support higher education institutions and the students they serve.
- 1988-1989 Ms. Hammer turned evidence over to Congress and the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) and testified numerous times regarding a student lending corruption ring in California that had put several companies out of business and cost the government an estimated $750 million to rectify.
- 1989 The innovative “Hands-On” Default Management Program* was recognized by the USDOE for its remarkable results and was used as the basis for default management in what became known as “Appendix D”. Ms. Hammer was active in aiding the USDOE in drafting this regulatory language for default management that was mandatory for high default rate schools from 1989 until 1996 and still exists today in rewritten regulations under “Subpart M” and “Subpart N”.
- 1990-1993 As part of several laws affecting higher education and cohort default rates, Ms. Hammer helped draft statutory and regulatory language for cohort default rate (CDR) appeals.
- 1993-1995 Ms. Hammer helped draft the Cohort Default Rate Guide and has assisted with several revisions.
- 1994-1998 Ms. Hammer worked with Congressional members on school-based loan issues and cohort default rate matters that became statutory language in the 1998 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
- 1999 Ms. Hammer served as an alternate negotiator for school-based loan issues in the 1999 Negotiated Rulemaking.
- 2000 Ms. Hammer served as a primary negotiator for school-based loan issues in the 2000 Negotiated Rulemaking. The original default management regulations under “Appendix D” were rewritten into “Subpart M” in addition to other loan issues.
- 2002-2008 Ms. Hammer worked with Congressional members on school-based loan issues and cohort default rate matters. Although she was opposed to increasing the cohort default rate (CDR) definition, she was instrumental in correcting what was originally written as a 4-year CDR definition to a 3-year CDR definition and helped draft the increased threshold and appeal rights for sanctions under the new definition.
- 2009 Ms. Hammer served as a primary negotiator for Loan Issues–Team 2 and provided expert witness testimony for Team 1 Loan Issues. Default management regulations were written into “Subpart N” for the 3-year CDR definition along with conforming language for appeals in addition to other loan issues.
- 1988 to Date Ms. Hammer has testified many times at Congressional and USDOE hearings and has worked closely with Congressional members, education committee professional staff, and key staff at the USDOE on many issues during her career in higher education to insure program integrity and access to quality higher education for at-risk students.
*Champion College Services was previously known as Hand-On Default Management