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 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.