By Melissa Clarke
on June 8, 2022
uAspire knows it is essential to address the underlying systems and policies that drive inequity in postsecondary access and success. Through a paid fellowship program, uAspire supports college students to build advocacy skills to change financial aid systems to be more equitable, simple, and transparent.
Higher education empowers students to transform their futures and enables success for society as a whole. Yet, higher education costs are rising more than three times faster than inflation and eight times faster than wages, while need-based financial aid has not kept up. Today, college intending students from low-income households pay over 150 percent of their families’ earnings to get a degree. Unprecedented borrowing disproportionately burdens students from low-income backgrounds and students of color and limits their lifelong earning potential. Our higher education system thus often exacerbates the generational wealth gap perpetuated by systemic racism. This Fellowship supports current college students to amplify their experiences and advocate for structural solutions to the challenges they face affording college.
Watch this video to learn more about the program from former fellows:
uAspire’s fellowship program is designed for college students who have experienced navigating financial aid systems while pursuing their degree. Fellows will receive training and professional development to advocate for change via personal testimony and student-centered advocacy to influence policymakers.
See how uAspire's Policy Fellows tackled college costs during #BeyondtheCollegeBill virtual advocacy week!
$500 monthly stipend for about 8 hours/week commitment that includes training, research, and individual and group advocacy projects at the state and federal levels.
Entirely virtual engagement with teammates from California, Massachusetts, and New York, with potential for free travel to state capitols. Requires access to the internet and a laptop with a video camera for web conferencing.
Fellowship runs from October 2022 through May 2023 with breaks that align with students’ school breaks.
18+ years old undergraduates. To be eligible, students must be Pell Grant recipients or hold DACA/TPS status, and be full or part-time students with at least 2-semesters credit attending college in California, Massachusetts, or New York. We are committed to building a Policy Fellows cohort with diverse lived and college-attending experiences that well equips our team to advance student-centered change in higher education policy. Ideal candidates are curious about the workings of policy systems, outspoken about their ideas, eager to make change, and committed to issues of equity in higher education!
How will fellows be selected?
Each prospective fellow must complete an application by July 19 at 11:59 PM PT. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of uAspire staff. Six fellows will be selected – two from each state of California, Massachusetts, and New York.
What is the application and fellowship timeline?
- Click here to complete the application
- July 19 at 11:59 PM PT: applications are due to uAspire
- By August 1: all applicants are notified if they are selected for an interview
- By August 15: fellows notified of acceptance
- October 3: fellowship starts
Please email Melissa Clarke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apply for the uAspire Student Advocacy Fellowship