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 and stakeholders to close equity gaps in postsecondary attainment for all students.

Grounded in the deep relationships with our members' over two million students, NCAN speaks out for students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, and students who are first in their family to attend college by centering their experiences in our policy priorities to make college affordable for our students and to simplify the financial aid process to increase access.

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 eight 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 several key changes to improve college access and affordability for underrepresented 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.
  • Supporting all students in access higher education.

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's State Policy Priorities, detailed in the following list, reflect a core set of practitioner-informed strategies to promote equitable access, affordability and attainment in postsecondary education. States play an enormous role in ensuring affordable opportunities for students and must urgently work to remedy the existing pitfalls that prevent far too many from attainment.

On these pages, NCAN will catalog resources on pressing state policy matters, highlight exemplar state programs, and provide the evidence base for student-centered policymaking. As you seek to bolster the impact of your organization’s state-level advocacy, these resources will support state-focused advocates in elevating the initiatives that drive equity in degree attainment.