How Will We Keep College Affordable? A Conversation We Must Continue in 2017

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By Jake Brymner, Regional Affairs Manager, The Campaign for College Opportunity

As our nation’s capital prepares for a presidential transition in power, The Campaign for College Opportunity travelled to Washington, D.C. with a different agenda.  Twenty-two student ambassadors joined the Campaign alongside some of our community and business partners to call for financial aid policy to accommodate the growing number of students qualified to pursue higher education. Did you know that a record number of high school students are graduating and are college-ready and bound, yet too many of these students are facing the cost of college as a barrier to their attendance? And while we often hear of how missing the chance to earn a college degree has major lifelong implications for individuals, we don’t always realize how it’s also a major loss to our nation’s economy. Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce predicts that the U.S. needs to produce 11 million more post-secondary credentials by 2025 just to meet projected workforce demands making the imperatives and benefits of student-centered financial aid policy clearer than ever. Read More

With Thanks

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By: Stacey Holderbach, Development & Administrative Manager, The Campaign for College Opportunity

“When deciding which college I would attend, I did it based on the school I could graduate from without accumulating too much debt. I didn’t want to financially burden my mother, so I told myself that if I didn’t receive the aid I needed, I would attend community college and transfer later on.”Izeah Garcia, student, UC Santa Barbara

At the Campaign for College Opportunity, we are fortunate to work with so many resilient students determined to get a college education. But at the same time, we also bear witness to the numerous struggles students face in attaining a college degree. Over the years we have covered through different lenses, issues of college access, completion, accountability, and affordability that affect our students and we have played a key role in finding solutions to these problems.
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FAFSA Story Series: Melody Jimenez

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By: The Campaign for College Opportunity

Melody Jimenez is a 19-year-old, sophomore at Sacramento City College who is hoping to transfer to University of California, Berkeley as a political science major.

As the child of working-class Filipino immigrant parents, Melody has felt alone in navigating the college application and financial aid process.  Melody’s mother attended college in the Philippines, and is unfamiliar with the American higher education system, and her father has only taken a couple of community college classes.  As a result, Melody has largely endeavored to figure out the process on her own, often leading to twists and turns sending her down a less direct and inefficient path to pursuing her educational objectives. Read More

FAFSA Story Series: Izeah Garcia

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By: The Campaign for College Opportunity

Izeah Garcia is a 20 year-old first generation Mexican-American student completing his fourth year at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) with a political science major.

As the youngest of four boys, Izeah was the second in his family to graduate from high school and the first to attend college.  He credits three positive influences as helping him get to college:  his family’s encouragement,  “luck of the draw” mentorship he received along the way, and, of course, financial aid. Read More

How this Legislative Cycle Brought a Renewed Promise of College Opportunity for California Students

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By: Sara Arce, Policy Director, Campaign for College Opportunity

Another legislative year came to an end this September and with it, a renewed promise of college opportunity for more California students. This year we saw the state make strategic investments to increase college access and success for students who need it most and to promote the K-12 to college pipeline. These investments are good not only for students and families, but also for the future of the state.

One of the new programs that excites us most at the Campaign is the state’s focus this year on ensuring all California students have equitable access to attend a four-year college or university. Unfortunately, where a student attends high school determines whether they have the opportunity and preparation to go to college. And increasing selectivity at California’s public universities threatens to put college out of reach for students without the resources to make them competitive applicants. The state invested $200 million to create a College Readiness Block Grant to provide additional supports to California high school students, particularly traditionally underrepresented students, to increase their access to and enrollment in college. This critical investment was accompanied by two additional actions: 1) funding to the UC to provide support services to underrepresented students and 2) a requirement that they ultimately increase the number of students admitted to the UC who are from high-needs high schools (high schools that enroll 75% or more low-income, English learners and foster youth). Together, this funding and policy will promote educational opportunity for students who need it most. Read More