Up to Us Kicks Off Nationwide College Campus Competition to Secure America's Fiscal and Economic Future

Oct 22, 2015


Contact: Christina Saull, (202) 518-6480 Christina.Saull@FinnPartners.com
73 Student Teams from Across the Country Compete to Increase Awareness and Engagement on Fiscal Issues Among U.S. Millennials
Non-partisan Competition Begins its Fourth Year Today with “My Two Cents Day”

WASHINGTON, DC — Up to Us, a unique nationwide campus competition that gives young leaders a voice on fiscal issues, begins its fourth year today. The expanding non-partisan program includes student teams from 73 colleges and universities in 28 states across the country. The competition kicks off with the second annual My Two Cents Day, a student-led day of mobilization to engage, educate and inspire action among millennials, the generation most impacted by the nation’s long-term fiscal and economic health.

The Up to Us competition, sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) and Net Impact, empowers student teams to create innovative campaigns to raise awareness of our long-term fiscal challenges. As part of My Two Cents Day, the inaugural event of Up to Us, teams will employ a number of unique and engaging tactics, including:

  • recording the “two cents” of thousands of their peers in portable photo booths, and sharing them in person and online
  • gathering signatures to a non-partisan pledge that will be delivered to their elected representatives
  • hosting a range of activities specific to each campus
  • educating fellow students on the long-term national debt in creative ways

During last year's My Two Cents Day, more than 8,000 students signed a pledge raising awareness of the long-term national debt, tweeted the hashtags #MyTwoCentsDay and #UpToUs more than 1,300 times, and shared more than 1,000 photos in which they gave their views on the need to address our fiscal challenges.

"Up to Us has increased in size each year, reflecting the growing interest from millennials across the country on vital issues impacting their future," said Michael A. Peterson, President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. "On this second annual My Two Cents Day, Washington should take note of the passion, creativity and tenacity of these young leaders, and hear their call to address our nation’s long-term fiscal and economic challenges."

My Two Cents Day launches the Up to Us competition, in which the teams will develop and execute broader campus campaigns over three weeks in February 2016. The campaigns will be reviewed by a panel of distinguished judges on their effectiveness in raising awareness and inspiring action on campus and beyond. Past judges include former U.S. Senators Kent Conrad, Alan Simpson, and Olympia Snowe; Congressman Joaquín Castro; Mick Cornett, Mayor of Oklahoma City; Chelsea Clinton; Betty Liu, journalist and anchor of Bloomberg Television’s "In the Loop”; and Ben Rattray, founder and CEO of Change.org.

The winning Up to Us team will be awarded a $10,000 cash prize and will be recognized by President Clinton at the ninth annual CGI U meeting at the University of California, Berkeley in April 2016. Additionally, students from top teams will be invited to travel to Washington, DC to meet with policy organizations, civic groups and leaders from across the political spectrum to discuss millennials’ stake in fiscal issues, and attend the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s 2016 Fiscal Summit.

Each year, the Up to Us competition has significantly increased in size, from 10 schools competing in 2013 to 73 schools competing this year, reflecting increasing breadth and diversity of the participants. Since the start of Up to Us, participants have partnered with more than 500 other campus groups to engage more than 40,000 people through in-person activities and events, with hundreds of thousands more reached via social media and digital outreach.

Previous winners include teams from the University of Virginia (2013), the University of Texas-Pan American (2014), and Stockton University (2015). In last year’s competition, teams developed a wide variety of creative activities to engage and educate their peers, including hosting substantive discussions with local elected officials, economists, and entrepreneurs as well as social events such as debt bingo, a life-size game of Monopoly incorporating fiscal trivia, and a Mardi Gras second line parade to raise awareness of fiscal and economic issues.

The following schools will be competing in the 2015-2016 Up to Us competition:

Arizona State University Augsburg College
Babson College Barnard College
Bennett College Bentley University
Berea College Boise State University
Brigham Young University–Idaho Buffalo State College
California State University, Long Beach California State University, Los Angeles
Campbellsville University Central State University
Christian Brothers University Claremont Graduate University
Clark Atlanta University Cleveland State University
College of Coastal Georgia College of William & Mary
Columbus State University Cornell University
De Anza College DePaul University
Duquesne University Emory University
Emporia State University Farmingdale State College
Gardner-Webb University Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
Jackson State University Kings College
Lee College McLennan Community College
Miami Dade College New York University
North Carolina A&T University North Carolina Central University
Northeastern University Ohio Northern University
Ohio State University Oklahoma State University
Ottawa University Pennsylvania State University–College Park
Pepperdine University Purdue University
Regent University Saint Joseph's University
San Francisco State University Southeastern Louisiana University
Stockton University Sullivan University
Texas State University Tusculum College
UCLA University of Minnesota Twin Cities
University of Arkansas–Fort Smith University of Central Florida
University of Illinois at Chicago University of Illinois at Urbana–Champagne
University of Louisville University of Miami
University of Michigan University of New Mexico
University of North Carolina at Greensboro University of San Diego
University of San Francisco University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley University of Texas–El Paso
West Virginia Wesleyan College Westminster College
Yale College  

Follow the student-led activities this year using #MTCD and #UpToUs.

About Up to Us
Up to Us, a nationwide campus competition sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) 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. 73 student teams selected from across the country compete to design and run thought-provoking, fun and impactful campaigns on the effects of rising debt on economic opportunity and America’s future.

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