Higher Ed in the American Families Plan
Our higher education system is set up to disproportionately send students of color and low-income students to the most under-resourced institutions. Unfortunately, the pandemic exacerbated existing equity gaps, shining an even brighter spotlight on the painful reality that not all students are being set-up for success in our nation’s college and universities.
But that can be fixed thanks to the bold proposals included in President Biden’s American Families Plan.
On Wednesday, July 28th, Third Way hosted a digital briefing as part of our Behind the Bumper Sticker series, where we unpacked some of the key higher ed investments in the Plan. The conversation featured Carrie Warick, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the National College Attainment Network; Dr. Marshall Anthony, Jr., Senior Policy Analyst at Center for American Progress; Amanda Martinez, Senior Policy Analyst, Education Policy Project, UnidosUS; Dr. Deneece Huftalin, President of Salt Lake Community College; Alexander Mayer, Director of Postsecondary Education at MDRC; and Tashauna Stewart, a recent graduate from Northern Arizona University with her Master of Education and advisor at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Moderated by Third Way’s Senior Education Policy Advisor, Michelle Dimino, our panelists explored bolstering the Pell Grant program, ensuring students can attend community college tuition-free, establishing a first-of-its kind College Completion Fund, and investing in Minority Serving Institutions. During the first panel, Amanda Martinez, Dr. Marshall Anthony, Jr., and Carrie Warick discussed the federal policy implications of the administration’s proposals. Michelle was then joined by Dr. Deneece Huftalin, who shared the challenges that her students face and the impact that expanded resources could have on programs like TRIO at SLCC, which helps low-income and first-generation students succeed. Finally, Alex Mayer and Tashauna Stewart joined Michelle to discuss evidence-based programs like CUNY ASAP, and Tashauna’s experience as a student and advisor. Each of our panelists recognized that the higher education proposals in the American Families Plan come at a high cost—but a cost that would be well worth the investment to help our students complete their degrees.