Fresh Perspectives on Higher Learning

Insights & Outlooks

Sarah Ancel

Sarah Ancel

Senior Vice President and Interim Leadership , Complete College America

Sarah Ancel serves as Senior Vice President and Interim Leadership for Complete College America. Sarah is responsible for the CCA Alliance, coordinating its 45 Complete College Alliance Teams from across the country and the network of CCA Fellows. Her work propels state and system leaders to advance their attainment and equity goals through concrete plans, aligned policy, and CCA support. Sarah also spearheaded and oversees CCA’s newest Game Changer, a Better Deal for Returning Adults. Sarah is CCA’s primary policy expert and has worked with Governors, legislators and SHEEOs to craft policies that support college completion and close equity gaps.

Before joining CCA, Sarah served as Associate Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Policy for the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. In that role, she was responsible for implementing the Commission’s strategic plan by overseeing foundation-funded projects, coordinating Commission activities and developing and advancing the Commission’s legislative priorities. She came to that role after spending nearly a decade contributing to the fiscal management and oversight of Indiana’s state and local governments.

Throughout her career, Sarah has been a champion for change. Before joining CCA, Sarah led an effort to revamp Indiana’s approach to serving adult learners, particularly those who started college but never finished. Sarah was the architect of financial aid reforms that aligned Indiana’s aid dollars to on-time completion goals. As a fiscal leader, Sarah led a modernization effort that converted 2,600 local governments from paper-based financial reporting to a web-based process with a public-facing transparency website for voters and taxpayers. On staff at CCA, she has worked to enhance and systematize Alliance Relations, craft a new Game Changer strategy, and create clear processes for engaging with states on policy.

Sarah holds an M.A. in Economics from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Indiana University Bloomington. She served her alma mater as an adjunct economics professor for three years and in 2016 was awarded a Career Achievement Award from the IU School of Liberal Arts.