Policy and Advocacy Priorities

In collaboration with partners around the state and across the country, we advocate for policies that support Alabama learners seeking valuable postsecondary credentials. We aim to break down barriers to educational attainment, resulting in economic mobility for families and a highly qualified workforce for our state.

Advocacy Areas

Click each area to read more about our advocacy efforts

As students prepare for postsecondary pathways, a common concern is how to pay for education and training after high school. Financial barriers often present a significant hurdle for prospective students seeking to pursue a postsecondary credential. Ensuring students are not priced out of education requires policies that prioritize access, success, and attainment.

College Affordability

Simplify FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the gateway to the largest source of financial aid for students pursuing education after high school. However, the complexity of the form deters many families from completing the FAFSA. We advocate for a streamlined FAFSA that reduces the burden currently placed on students and families as they complete this important application. Learn more about our advocacy efforts and wins here.

Universal FAFSA: Many students do not pursue a postsecondary education because they are not aware of the financial aid opportunities available to them through the FAFSA. In fact, each year, thousands of high school seniors in Alabama do not complete a FAFSA, forfeiting millions of dollars in aid that could go towards their education. We advocate for making the FAFSA a part of high school seniors’ graduation checklist so that all students understand aid they are eligible for and can make informed financial decisions. Learn more about our advocacy efforts and wins here.

Double Pell: The Pell Grant is the most efficient and effective way of getting financial aid to students with the highest need. As college becomes increasingly unaffordable and enrollment numbers decline, targeted support like the Pell Grant is the fastest way to increase support to the largest number of students. We advocate for the maximum Pell award to be doubled, returning its purchasing power back to more than 50% of the cost of attendance at a four-year public college, but not even close to its historic high of 79% of the cost of attendance. Learn more about our advocacy efforts and wins here. 

Many students who begin a postsecondary program do not complete their education or training, leaving them without a valuable postsecondary credential. These “near-completers”  often accumulate a substantial amount of credits and intend to return but do not have an accessible path back. Re-engaging stranded workers with some college but no degree requires policies and practices that support adult learners who are balancing many responsibilities and obligations.

Stranded Workforce

Reform Transcript Withholding: Colleges often prevent students from accessing their records if the student has any outstanding debt owed to the school. Students might have financial holds on their accounts due to debt from small fines and fees that have compounded over time. In an effort to re-engage adult learners who have stopped out of postsecondary education and training, we advocate for financial support for in the form of institutional debt forgiveness programs for this population. Learn more about our advocacy efforts here.