Above (left): SPSSI members and graduate students Kevin Carriere, left, and Kris Gebhard, right, meet with Representative Gerry Connolly (VA-11), center. Above (right): SPSSI member and Forward Editor Ashley Votruba meets with Senator Deb Fischer (NE).
SPSSI's 2018 Advocacy Day on Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act
On February 8, 2018, twenty-one representatives of SPSSI—including SPSSI members who were already in Washington for SPSSI's winter Council meeting, SPSSI staff, and local SPSSI-member graduate students—participated in an advocacy day on Capitol Hill. The topic of the advocacy day was one that directly affects many SPSSI members and their students: Equitable access to higher education through federally-funded student grant and loan programs. As described in detail in the resources listed below, proposed changes to the Higher Education Act (HEA)—the major piece of legislation guiding federal higher education policy in the United States—would be detrimental to students who would like to pursue psychology degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and would be especially detrimental to students from lower-income backgrounds for whom federal grants and loans are critical.
In all, representatives of SPSSI visited the offices of lawmakers from 13 states, including 20 House Districts and 30 Senate Districts. The advocacy day also included visits with senior staff members from the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) Committee on both the majority and minority sides. Following the advocacy day, SPSSI seized on a related opportunity and submitted a public comment to Senator Lamar Alexander and Senator Patty Murray in response to a request they issued soliciting input on HEA reauthorization.
- SPSSI's one-page fact sheet on federal funding for student grants and loans
- SPSSI's public comment to the Senate HELP Committee regarding HEA reauthorization
- Agenda from SPSSI's half-day advocacy training session
- Slideshow from SPSSI's half-day advocacy training session
- SPSSI's Public Comment on Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act
- The Senate HELP Committee's website
- The website of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
- Higher Education Act: Forty Years of Opportunity (TG Research and Analytical Services)
- Recalibrating Regulation of Colleges and Universities (Lumina Foundation)
- How America Pays for College, 2017 (Sallie Mae)
- Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility (National Bureau of Economic Research)
- The Role of Financial Aid in Promoting College Access and Success: Research Evidence and Proposals for Reform (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators)
- Educational Attainment and Earnings Inequality among US-Born Men: A Lifetime Perspective (Urban Institute)
- 2015–16 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:16) (National Center for Education Research)
- The Condition of Education 2017 (National Center for Education Research)
- Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups 2017 (National Center for Education Research)
- Repayment of Student Loans as of 2015 Among 1995–96 and 2003–04 First-Time Beginning Students (National Center for Education Statistics)