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Student Aid Lobbying and Advocacy Groups


The following organizations are involved in lobbying on behalf of improving access to higher education. They advocate increases in student aid funding and more effective use of limited funds. See also the separate list of student aid lobbyists.

Student Aid Policy

Student Aid Alliance
The Student Aid Alliance, formerly the Alliance to Save Student Aid, is a coalition of 50 educational organizations, including the American Council on Education (ACE), American Association of University Professors (AAUP), Association of American Universities (AAU), Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), National Association of College Students (NACS), National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS), National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), College Board, National Council for Higher Education, United Negro College Fund (UNCF), and United States Student Association (USSA).

The Alliance is running a Save Student Aid campaign that features a statement of support, a tool for sending a message to Congressional representatives, and the opportunity to submit a student aid success story for publication on the site.

In addition, the web site includes information on student financial aid, current information about Congressional cuts to aid, and suggestions to individuals and organizations on what they can do to help save student aid.

For further information about the Alliance to Save Student Aid, email or

College Costs
Sponsored by the Lumina Foundation, focuses on the affordability of a college education. The web site includes a copy of the policy brief, Collision Course: Rising college costs threaten America's future and require shared solutions.

College Insight
College Insight is a tool created by The Institute for College Access and Success that combines data for nearly 5,000 colleges from IPEDS, Pell Grant data files, FISAP and the Common Data Set to provide tools for investigating college affordability, diversity and student success. It is the successor site to

Complete College America
Complete College America, established in 2009, is a non-profit research and advocacy group focused on increasing the number of Americans with college degrees of genuine value in the marketplace, especially among underrepresented populations. Complete College America emphasizes policy change at the state level.

Education Sector
Education Sector is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit education policy think tank. It is funded by the Gates, Hewlett and Kauffman foundations, among others. Although they don't specifically address student aid policy, one of their topic areas focuses on Education Finance and includes a report on loan default rates.

NAGPS Student Financial Aid Crisis Page
The National Association of Graduate and Professional Students is trying to prevent the federal government from cutting student financial aid. This web page provides information and advice to people who are concerned about the proposed cuts in federal student aid and federal funding of higher education. It also includes NAGPS press releases regarding financial aid, excerpts of news reports, and updates on Congressional activity concerning financial aid. To join the NAGPS Student Aid Crisis mailing list, send email to Send your letter to and NAGPS will print it and hand-deliver it to your Congressional Representatives and Senators. For more information, call 1-708-256-1562, fax 1-708-256-8954, or send email to

National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education
The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education is an independent nonprofit nonpartisan organization that advocates for public policy that improves access to higher education. They publish analyses of public policy issues and a quarterly publication, National CrossTalk. They publish the Measuring Up report cards on postsecondary education every two years.

United States Student Association (USSA)
The United States Student Association (USSA) is the nation's oldest and largest student student organization. USSA is dedicated to increasing access to higher education through a combination of grassroots advocacy and legislative lobbying. Their web pages provide students with information about the organization as well as up-to-date legislative information and action plans. For more information, call 1-202-347-8772, fax 1-202-393-5886, or write to United States Student Association, 1413 K Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20005.

Free Higher Ed
Free Higher Ed advocates for free tuition at public colleges and universities.

Student Loan Policy

Project on Student Debt
The Project on Student Debt offers the latest news and research on student debt and financial aid policy; real stories from students, parents and graduates; commentary and analysis by leading economists, researchers, and experts on college access and financial aid; and forums where individuals can share their views about student debt. The nonprofit, nonpartisan Project raises awareness about student debt and its effects on students, families, and the economy. The Project also encourages the development of federal policies to reduce the burdens of student debt and increase college access and success.

Student Debt Alert
Student Debt Alert is a web site run by the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) to raise awareness of the impact of educational debt. Students can post information about their anticipated educational debt, along with photographs, names, colleges and majors. It is modeled after the web site

Anti-FFELP Loan Advocacy

Student Loan Watch
Student Loan Watch is a project of The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), an independent non-profit organization founded in 2004 by Robert Shireman. It is generally critical of the student loan industry, focusing on the cost-effectiveness of the federal student loan programs.

National Tuition Endowment (NTE)
NTE is a proposal for increasing student aid by reducing lender and guarantor subsidies. The movement was started by students at Columbia University, and is endorsed by student governments across the US.

Student Loan Justice
Student Loan Justice presents a diatribe against Sallie Mae and other education lenders, charging that these lenders have enriched themselves at the expense of borrowers and taxpayers. It exposes some of the ways in which the management of education lenders have personally profited. It includes the stories of borrowers who have defaulted on their student loans. Most of those stories complain about how the initial debt ballooned because of a combination of interest capitalization during periods of deferment and forbearance and collection costs added after they defaulted on their debt. (They also dislike the way in which interest adds to the total amount paid over the lifetime of the loan, the impact on their credit ratings, and the ability of the federal government to garnishee their wages and withhold their income tax refunds.) Many feel that they should be able to settle their debt for less than they currently owe. It is unclear how much of the blame belongs to the borrowers, how much to Congress, and how much to the lenders. In some cases it appears that the lenders may not have offered alternate repayment terms (e.g., extended, graduated and income sensitive repayment) and economic hardship deferments to the borrowers. In other cases the borrowers appear to have stopped making payments without pursuing alternatives to default.

Pro-DL Loan Advocacy

National Direct Student Loan Coalition (NDSLC)
This site provides information from a coalition representing universities and colleges that participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP or DL). It includes an introduction to direct loans, a summary of the best features of direct loans and the arguments in favor of direct loans, news about direct lending, direct lending success stories, articles about direct lending, and information about legislation affecting direct lending. For more information and suggestions, call 1-202-478-6119 or write to National Direct Student Loan Coalition, Inc., 2120 L Street, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20037.

Pro-FFELP Loan Advocacy

Coalition for Student Loan Reform (CSLR)
CSLR is an organization of 44 non-profit and state agencies engaged in administering the Federal Family Education Loan Program. Their web page is intended to provide current information for students, families, and financial aid professionals on issues involving federal student loan programs. The page includes information about major developments in student loan policy, Capitol Hill news, and relevant legislation, studies, reports and surveys, as well as updates on CSLR work to improve the guaranteed student loan program. For more information, call 1-202-328-6109, fax 1-202-328-1163, or send email to Ben Loya at (Note: This page appears to have a bias in favor of private lending and against direct lending.)

Education Finance Council (EFC)
EFC is the national trade association for state student loan secondary markets.

Consumer Bankers Association
The CBA Education Funding Committee focuses on student loans from the bank's perspective.

National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs, Inc. (NCHELP)
NCHELP is a membership organization for organizations that are involved in the administration of the Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFELP), including guarantee agencies, secondary markets, lenders, services, collection agencies, and schools. For additional details, see the entry in the Resources Section.

America's Student Loan Providers
ASLP is a coalition of Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFELP) lenders, guarantors, servicers and secondary markets. It is a more public-facing entity than NCHELP, and publishes information that claims that FFELP loans are less expensive than Direct Loans.


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