Policy & Systems Change

Policy & Systems Change

While a college degree is the most powerful driver of economic mobility, attaining one is primarily determined by a student’s family background and race.

As the purchasing power of need-based aid diminishes, students from low-income backgrounds and students of color are more likely to carry the burden of loan debt and less likely to complete their degrees. Unprecedented borrowing limits lifelong earning potential, often exacerbating the generational wealth gap. Informed by the experiences of the high school and college students in our advising programs, uAspire seeks to transform systems of financial aid and higher education to be more equitable, simple, and transparent. 


  • Strengthen the Pell Grant
  • Create equitable access to Work-Study
  • Expand aid to cover indirect expenses


  • Streamline the FAFSA
  • Reduce verification burden
  • Increase access to public benefits


  • Standardize financial aid terms
  • Require aid offer formatting
  • Mandate better loan counseling


Federal Policy Agenda

California Policy Agenda

Massachusetts Policy Agenda

New York Policy Agenda


As the primary consumers of higher education, students’ expertise should drive policy change. Through a paid fellowship program, uAspire supports college students from Massachusetts, California, and the Mid-Atlantic to build advocacy skills and educate those in power to make higher education more affordable and equitable. uAspire Student Advocacy Fellows gain real-world advocacy experience while building their professional network.

Meet uAspire's Student Advocacy Fellows


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Joining Forces to Break Down Barriers

As a member of these national coalitions, we expand our policy work and influence:

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