Advancing a Federal Agenda for #RealCollege Students

By Mark Huelsman, Policy Fellow for The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice

  1. Create a federal-state partnership that ensures adequate and equitable funding for public colleges and universities.
  2. Reform federal higher education funding formulas to better account for part-time students.
  3. Make permanent federal emergency aid for students.
  4. Enhance affordability by formalizing partnerships between federal agencies.
  5. Cancel student debt, reform higher education tax credits, and improve for-profit college accountability.
  1. Treat the pursuit of a postsecondary credential as meeting any compliance, work participation, and/or core activity requirements for all public benefit programs. Remove mandates to combine work with education, time restrictions, and limitations on programs or degrees in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, and Child Care Development Block Grant program. Additionally, pass The College Student Hunger Act of 2019 which would improve access to food for students.
  2. Expand the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to higher education. Short of a full expansion, Congress should pass the Food for Thought Act which establishes a pilot program that allows community colleges to provide meals and snacks to eligible students.
  3. Fully fund federal child care programs to meet the needs of eligible populations. Expand investment and access to child care subsidies and support through the Child Care Development Block Grant, Child Care Access Means Parents in School, Head Start, and Early Head Start programs.
  4. Create affordable housing programs for students. Pass the Housing for Homeless Students Act which would allow full-time college students who experienced homelessness to benefit from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. Remove student restrictions in public housing programs and identify best practices for federal collaboration with colleges and universities.
  5. Improve access to affordable health care, increase the federal minimum wage to $15, expand broadband internet access, and improve the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). We support the broader agenda to help working and middle-income families access economic opportunity.

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#RealCollege students, presidents, educators, and more will lend their voices here with support from Believe in Students.