College Students Nationwide Launch Non-Partisan Action Campaigns to Raise Awareness of America's Long-Term Fiscal Challenges and Secure their Economic Future

As an Election Year Begins, Millennials are Making their Voices Heard in Fourth Annual Up to Us Campus Competition

WASHINGTON--()--Students across the country are once again uniting to take charge of their fiscal and economic future as part of the fourth annual Up to Us campus competition. Today, Up to Us kicks off at colleges and universities across the country, with three weeks of creative and thought-provoking non-partisan campaigns to raise awareness and inspire action on the nation’s unsustainable long-term fiscal path. The competition, sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) and Net Impact, will bring together student teams from 53 colleges and universities in 28 states.

“As candidates debate policy issues throughout this election year, a growing movement of millennials are taking action to address one of the most significant challenges facing our nation,” said Michael A. Peterson, President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. “The Up to Us competition gives this generation a say in solving America’s long-term fiscal challenges, which is critical for the economic future they will inherit.”

The non-partisan campaigns will take place over the course of three weeks and will educate and engage college students about the effects of the nation’s rising long-term debt, and motivate them to make their voices heard in Washington. Student teams are planning a range of unique activities during their campaigns, including seminars and workshops on fiscal issues, an a cappella concert featuring original songs about the national debt, a video series highlighting how the debt could affect students, and petition drives to send a message to policymakers that millennials are concerned about these issues.

The competition officially began in October 2015 when 73 schools in 28 states participated in the second annual My Two Cents Day, a student-led day of mobilization to engage, educate and inspire action among millennials on the nation’s long-term fiscal and economic health. The student teams participating in My Two Cents Day shared over 2,500 photos on social media, and the hashtags #MTCD and #UpToUs appeared in more than 2.8 million social media feeds. In addition, more than 6,650 students signed a pledge to tell their member of Congress that securing the nation’s fiscal future is important to them. The pledge was sent to 414 members representing 47 states.

“We are excited to welcome some of the most creative thought leaders from the millennial generation to CGI University this April,” said Bob Harrison, CEO of the Clinton Global Initiative. “Each year, students in the Up to Us competition take action to raise awareness of America’s long-term fiscal health, and we look forward to seeing the new and dynamic approaches this year’s teams take to address their economic future.”

The campaigns will be judged by a panel of distinguished individuals on their effectiveness in raising awareness and inspiring action on campus and beyond. 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, D.C. to meet with policy organizations, civic groups and leaders from across the political spectrum to discuss millennials’ stake in fiscal issues, as well as attend the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s 2016 Fiscal Summit.

“Each year, the students of the Up to Us competition demonstrate true leadership and ingenuity,” said Liz Maw, CEO of Net Impact, a leading global nonprofit that empowers a new generation to work for a sustainable future. “Teams bring awareness to an issue that so greatly impacts their generation, through thought-provoking and exciting campaigns.”

The following schools will be competing in the 2016 Up to Us campaign:


Arizona State University

Babson College

Bard College

Bentley University

Berea College

Boise State University

Brigham Young University - Idaho

California State University, Long Beach

Christian Brothers University

Claremont Graduate University

Clark Atlanta University

College of William & Mary

Columbus State University

Cornell University

De Anza College

Duquesne University

Emory University

Emporia State University

Farmingdale State College

Gardner-Webb University

Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

Jackson State University

Jefferson Community and Technical College

Kings College

McLennan Community College

Miami Dade College

Morehouse College

New York University

North Carolina A&T University

North Carolina Central University

Ohio Northern University

Ohio State University

Oklahoma State University

Pennsylvania State University - University Park

San Francisco State University

Southeastern Louisiana University

Stockton University

Tusculum College

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

University of California - Los Angeles

University of Central Florida

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

University of Miami

University of Michigan

University of New Mexico

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

University of San Diego

Wartburg College

West Virginia Wesleyan College

Westminster College

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

About Up to Us

Up to Us, a non-partisan 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. 53 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.


Up to Us
Christina Saull, 202-518-6480

Release Summary

Students across the country are once again uniting to take charge of their fiscal and economic future as part of the fourth annual Up to Us campus competition.


Up to Us
Christina Saull, 202-518-6480