Protecting College Opportunity and Success Through the COVID-19 Crisis

There is no playbook for how to best respond to a global pandemic. While it is challenging to predict the full impact that COVID-19 will have on our students and our state, we want to ensure vulnerable students do not fall off their college pathways as this crisis evolves. That is why we support policy and campus efforts that target support for vulnerable students. We urge policymakers and college leaders to:
    • Invest in students’ emergency and basic needs
    • Ensure students can learn and succeed
    • Guard college opportunity for future students
    • Support our public colleges and universities

Read more in our COVID-19 Response Letter and blog post, “Does COVID-19 Hurt College Dreams Too?” from Michele Siqueiros, President of the Campaign for College Opportunity.

Below, you will find information on student advocacy in response to the pandemic, updates on actions taken by the state’s colleges and universities to safeguard college opportunity, and the Campaign for College Opportunity’s efforts to ensure college access and success for our state’s most vulnerable student populations.

What Students are Saying

The California Student Higher Education Advocacy Round Table, comprised of the state’s leading student advocates, released a joint statement to the leaders of the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges outlining recommendations for urgent action in the areas of learning, basic needs, admissions, graduation, supporting student workers and supporting undocumented students.

Read the statement

Watch the Q&A with CA Students HEART

California’s Colleges and Universities Respond to COVID-19

Admissions changes at the UC, CSU, and community colleges

Equity Advocates Urge UC and CSU to extend commitment deadlines

UC Ends Reliance on SAT & ACT beyond COVID-19

Our Policy and Budget Advocacy

Amid the budget constraints and other challenges brought on by COVID-19, the Governor and State Legislature have a responsibility to protect college opportunity for current and future students. In his updated budget proposal, Governor Newsom is responding to the economic challenges brought on by COVID-19 and eliminates many of his January proposals to expand enrollment funding for our public colleges and universities. Without aid from the federal government, California’s community colleges and universities stand to lose nearly $2 billion. We call on Congress and the President to invest in a rapid economic recovery by providing deserved federal assistance to our state, in recognition that there cannot be an American recovery without a California recovery.

Read our Statement on the May Revise of the Budget.

Read & Share Coalition Letters

Student Recommendations for Protecting College Opportunity Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Letter from 77 Groups Urging Congress to Invest In & Protect the Pell Grant Program During and After the COVID-19 Crisis

Protecting College Opportunity for Undocumented Students

The recent announcement by the United States Department of Education to block undocumented students from receiving emergency CARES Act aid poses additional barriers for an already vulnerable population of students. More than 90,000 undocumented students are enrolled in California’s colleges and universities and this financial relief would have supported those undocumented students who are experiencing significant economic hardship. We urge state policymakers and higher education institutions to do everything possible to ensure undocumented students have the emergency aid they need to enroll and stay in college. Read More

COVID-19 Resources

In partnership with community organizations in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti Mayor recently launched COVID College Connect – an initiative where students set to graduate high school this year will be able to connect with counselors for free to help them through the college admissions process. Students can fill out a form to connect with a counselor to help them navigate the admissions process.

Find additional community and student resources.


Latinx Student Success & COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall

Interim impacts to California University Admissions

Interim Impacts to CA University Admissions

Adulting 101 with Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez

Adulting 101