Policy & Advocacy
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NCAN champions practice-informed federal and state policy in the quest to achieve our mission to build, strengthen, and empower communities committed to college access and success so that all students, especially those underrepresented in postsecondary education, can achieve their educational dreams.

Grounded in the deep relationships with our members' over two million students, NCAN speaks out for low-income students in Washington, D.C., to simplify the financial aid application process, sustain and improve the Pell Grant program and better target and expand the federal work-study program.

Amber Briggs, project director at NCAN member LEDA, and the two students pictured above were among the more than 150 NCAN members and students who attended a two-day training and advocacy event hosted by NCAN in Washington, D.C. in February 2019.


Federal Policy

For over five years, NCAN has worked to explore issues related to college affordability, consumer information for students, and public-private partnerships at the federal level. Currently, NCAN is targeting three key changes to federal financial aid to improve college affordability for low-income students. NCAN recommends:

  • Simplifying the financial aid application process, including #FixFAFSA.
  • Protecting the promise of the Pell Grant.
  • Providing work opportunities to low-income students who want them through the Federal Work-Study program.

Read more about NCAN's federal policy priorities.

 Kristina Scott, executive director of NCAN member Alabama Possible, testified about FAFSA simplification at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in March 2019.


State Policy

NCAN created a Model State Policy Agenda to provide NCAN members (and their networks/coalitions) interested in state-level advocacy with a guide to develop their own policy goals and agenda. A group of NCAN members developed the first draft of this document.

NCAN also created a State Policy Toolkit. Each policy issues discussed in the toolkit is derived from the Model State Policy Agenda and categorized under affordability or talent development.