Policy Project

2020-2021 LEDA Policy Corps Policy Recommendations

Each year, as a part of their policy training, the Policy Corps is asked to identify a set of key issues and policy recommendations that they think leaders in higher education policy and practice should address. Since the goal of the LEDA Policy Project is to amplify student perspectives, these recommendations are driven by the students. The 2020-2021 LEDA Policy Corps recommends that the federal government, states, and institutions do the following where these actions fall within their authority:

Strengthen the pathway to college

  • Acknowledge and address how systemic racism in K-12 impacts college access
  • Reconsider the use of high-stakes testing
  • Provide equitable resources and funding to K-12 schools to maintain quality of schools and deter the flight of ‘high-achieving’ students to charter or private high schools

Prioritize financial sustainability for FGLI college students

  • Increase the purchasing power of the Pell Grant to consistently cover at least half of the full cost of attendance at in-state public institutions of higher education
  • Streamline all financial aid applications
  • Transparently communicate the true cost of college and clearly provide the amounts that students owe in award letters
  • Expand the eligibility of the Pell Grant and in-state tuition, as well as provide aid to DACAmented and undocumented students
  • Prioritize Federal Work Study eligibility and student employment options for FGLI/Pell Eligible students and allow work study funds to be used as grants when work is unavailable
  • Freeze tuition during times of crises (e.g. pandemics)
  • Embed paid or subsidized internship and professional development programs across graduation requirements

Prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education
Colleges should devote sufficient resources to support students and alumni from historically marginalized groups. This includes:

  • Ensuring that faculty and staff representation is consistent with the student population
  • Maintaining academic and nonacademic programs that teach anti-racism and promote cultural competence and understanding
  • Enact preventative measures to avoid racially-motivated violence and sexual violence

Promote student safety, health and emotional wellbeing

  • Provide funding for students to access affordable healthcare, including culturally competent and diverse health and well-being centers
  • Promote counseling and social services that center long-term care, instead of limiting support to a few visits

Incentivize and promote data transparency

  • Institutions of higher education should collect and report disaggregated outcomes data
  • The federal government should hold higher institutions accountable for how well they are supporting historically marginalized student groups

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