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Advocacy Matters: Be Proactive On State Support

Amy GlynnBy Amy Glynn

Are you sick of reading my posts about PPY and Early FAFSA, yet? It feels like we’ve spent the last few months talking about these two initiatives over and over, trying to figure out how schools can best prepare and ensure that the student experience is amazing.

Advocate to State Representatives

One item in the PPY and Early FAFSA discussion not fully within the control of the FinAid office relates to the role your State plays in the process. From 2009-2010, 30% of Title IV institutions were public institutions, or 1,989 schools. Ensuring that States set tuition rates and provide allocations for grant programs is key to allowing you to update your Net Price Calculators, promotional materials, websites, packaging formulas, and award letters. But how can you efficiently and effectively get their attention?

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 12.31.30 PMLeverage Industry Expertise

“Further simplification of the financial aid application process requires leadership by state legislatures, who can align state appropriations and state grants with the college admissions cycle. This will provide families and colleges with more time for financial planning,” says Mark Kantrowitz, Publisher and VP of Strategy at Cappex.com. A nationally-recognized expert on student financial aid, scholarships and student loans, Kantrowitz writes extensively on student financial aid policy and has testified before Congress and federal/state agencies about student aid.

Open Letter State Advocacy Tool

Kantrowitz’s extensive experience made him an ideal partner to collaborate with on an Open Letter State Advocacy Template that you can customize. The content of the letter expresses the need for your state’s assistance in ensuring that State Educational Funding timelines be aligned with those of the U.S. Department of Education and Colleges. It is our sincerest hope that this template will make advocating to your state representatives easier.

State Partnerships Are Key

Your state representatives can be key allies in helping to ensure that the appropriate information is available in your State so that the ever-present financial needs of students are being met. Financial Aid offices and schools at-large can, and should, take steps to help State Representatives better understand what role they can play in the process—and why their involvement is crucial.

Download the Open Letter State Advocacy Template >