uAspire College Affordability Commitment featured at 2016 Clinton Global Initiative Meeting

By: Nikki White | Monday, June 20, 2016

uAspire CEO Bob Giannino with President Bill Clinton at the 2016 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Meeting


uAspire, a national leader in the field of college affordability advising, unveiled a “Commitment to Action” featured at the 2016 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Meeting to design and launch a policy and systems change division that will leverage the organization’s unique college affordability experience and expertise to proactively influence K-12, higher education and state and federal policymakers.  Through partnerships, training and high-level convenings of key stakeholders, uAspire intends to mobilize broad systems change to eliminate the financial barriers that have increased student debt and precluded American students from successful postsecondary degree completion.

“We believe this is the key moment to scale our efforts to address the nation’s college affordability crisis,” said Bob Giannino, Chief Executive Officer of uAspire.  “With more than 30 years of experience directly advising students and families combined with providing training and technical assistance to thousands of frontline practitioners on an annual basis across the country, we felt strongly that policy and systems change was the next natural progression of our work and the means by which we can truly make college more affordable for all young people and families across the nation.”

uAspire’s commitment, entitled “Less Debt & More Degrees” was made last week at CGI America’s annual gathering in Atlanta, Georgia in partnership with ECMC Foundation, Edwin Gould Foundation, Lumina Foundation, MetLife Foundation and The Boston Foundation/Success Boston. The commitment will first establish an internal policy division at uAspire and create a plan aimed at driving systemic change to decrease student debt and increase degree completion for American students.   The key initial element of uAspire’s work will be to strategically engage in multi-faceted partnerships across numerous constituencies and sectors — research, practice, and policy — to mobilize leadership necessary to drive systemic change on critical issues pertaining to college affordability.  The organization intends to convene and activate key stakeholders via partnerships with:

• Leading researchers and think tanks to better understand, document and spread evidence-based approaches to enable more affordable paths to postsecondary degrees

• School districts, non-profit organizations and charter management organizations to provide college affordability training to enable frontline staff to utilize data systems to actualize less debt and more degrees for their students

• Policymakers and regulators – at the local, state and federal levels – to facilitate changes that will lead to more informed and improved policies and regulatory implementation

• Journalists and other members of the media to encourage and support their coverage of issues relating to college affordability

Early investors in uAspire’s policy and systems change work are the ECMC Foundation, Edwin Gould Foundation, Lumina Foundation and the MetLife Foundation.  Laura Keane, currently the organization’s Vice President of Innovation and Partnerships, will transition into the role of Chief Policy Officer this summer and will lead this work for uAspire moving forward.



About uAspire
uAspire is a national nonprofit whose mission is to ensure that all young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to – and through – a postsecondary education. Through strategic partnerships with high schools, community organizations, and higher education institutions, uAspire provides financial aid advising and advocacy to students and families. uAspire is committed to reaching the day when all young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential by graduating from college, regardless of their families’ financial resources or postsecondary experience.  Collectively, uAspire’s work has impacted nearly 250,000 students in 26 states in during the 2015-16 school year.


About Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America
Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America brings together leaders from the business, philanthropic, nonprofit, and government sectors to develop solutions that encourage economic growth, support long-term competitiveness, and increase social mobility in the United States. CGI America’s annual convening is designed to be a working meeting that promotes collaboration. Each CGI America participant makes a Commitment to Action: a new, specific, and measurable plan that supports increased economic growth and opportunity. To date, CGI America participants have made more than 500 commitments, which have improved the lives of nearly 2.4 million people.