Challenge: The nation’s largest provider of student loans was seeking to preserve the ability for private lenders to continue to originate student loans as part of the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Financial lenders who participated in the FFELP program faced stiff opposition from the administration and Congress, who supported the elimination of FFELP in favor of the government-run Direct Lending (DL) Program. The organization turned to the Podesta Group to more effectively position itself with policymakers as the primary originator and premier servicer of student loans.
Strategy: Develop a jobs-focused message campaign that emphasized the large amount of cuts that would become reality should FFELP go away. Target that message with members of Congress whose constituents relied on those jobs and who served on the key committees of jurisdiction, as well as fiscal conservatives, key administration officials and media.
Result: Strong backing was won from home-state representatives and fiscal conservatives -- including congressional letters of support expressing grave concern about job loss and the US Department of Education's ability to handle a more expansive loan origination portfolio.
Through our robust outreach strategy to the Hill, the administration, key opinion leaders and targeted national and regional media, the company successfully fostered critical new relationships that will be invaluable to their ongoing policy efforts.