Higher Learning Advocates’ Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

The HLA team put out a list of nine further policy recommendations, as outlined above, that should be enacted to best support today’s students during these uncertain times. These recommendations are organized into three areas where policy change can have the biggest impact in light of the COVID-19 pandemic: Reskilling adults through postsecondary education to re-enter the workforce, updating financial aid rules to account for our current economic environment, and supporting today’s students’ learning at home.

On April 24, fifty-two organizations came together to urge Congress to better support students who are unexpectedly attending classes online due to the coronavirus pandemic in a letter spearheaded by Higher Learning Advocates. A campaign to send letters to Congress in support of expanded broadband access accompanied this letter; you can send a letter to your Member of Congress here.

When the CARES Act was passed on March 27, Executive Director Julie Peller made a statement applauding its passage and the inclusion of higher education policies such as the allowable use of Supplemental Education Grants (SEOG) for emergency aid for students, Pell Grant lifetime eligibility usage limit and SAP flexibility, and the continuation of Federal Work Study payments for students included in the package.

On March 18th, fifty-two organizations came together to urge Congress to support students in response to campus closures and restrictions due to COVID-19 in a letter spearheaded by Higher Learning Advocates. Executive Director Julie Peller released a statement to underscore the importance of student-focused legislation.

Higher Learning Advocates also spearheaded a campaign urging individuals to take action by asking their members of Congress to pass legislation that would support today’s students affected by college closures and restrictions. Over 500 letters were sent before the introduction of the final coronavirus response package that was signed into law.

Nia Davis Sigona, Higher Learning Advocates’ Government Relations Director, and Kyle Southern, Young Invincibles’ Policy and Advocacy Director of Higher Education and Workforce, authored a blog post urging Congress to center student parents and their needs in any upcoming legislation.