"Keep on doing what you're doing."
It's been said to me at least a hundred times since Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust was launched late last year and my journey as president began. Whether neighbors in local grocery stores, or legislators in the state capital, or officials from higher education organizations from Washington, DC to Indianapolis, IN to Boulder, CO, they beseech us: Keep up the fight for college affordability.
Fighting for those who don't have a voice fills our team with purpose. Every day the mission of our organization is validated by concerned students and parents who tell us their own stories of struggle. When entrenched interests respond by pointing fingers more furiously, you realize quickly that you've struck a chord and are part of a much larger movement.
Still, the cost of higher education grows each day and with it record student debt, now totaling $1.5 trillion.
In short, we're emboldened. We've hired new staff in Richmond, VA and Washington DC, and we're growing our expertise and capacity to make an impact nationwide. Our goal remains clear - transform higher education by reducing the cost of college and restoring our public colleges and universities as engines of socioeconomic mobility for all. We're making our case to policymakers, trustees, and university leadership to own their share of responsibility and that working together is the only path to bring about the change Americans demand.
But we can't do it alone. In order to promote affordability, transparency, and accountability within higher education, we need all hands on deck!
Can we count on you?
Dr. James Toscano
Partners for College Affordability & Public Trust