Student Loan Pause Extended Through May 2022

On December 22, 2021, the Biden Administration extended emergency federal student loan benefits — including the payment pause, zero-percent interest rate, and halt on collections and wage garnishments — through May 1, 2022.

View the resources page for students and borrowers impacted by COVID-19
Listen to TICAS expert Michele Streeter on WOSU’s All Sides with Ann Fisher for more

TICAS Statement on Proposed 2022-23 California Budget

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the lives of college students and operations of the institutions that serve them. Enrollment and financial aid applications remain down, particularly among BIPOC students and students from low-income households and at the community colleges that disproportionately serve them. At this critical time, California Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2022-23 state budget proposal is rightly focused on closing education equity gaps by race and income, and better supporting students to and through their programs.

For the first time, the Governor is establishing a statewide postsecondary attainment goal for California. He has set an ambitious target of 70 percent of all working adults having a postsecondary certificate or degree by 2030. We appreciate that the Governor’s proposed budget acknowledges that in order to accomplish that goal, California’s students must have truly equitable, affordable access to high-quality programs.

Read our full statement on the proposed 2022-23 California budget
Read more in the Los Angeles Times

CASS: New Research Agenda and Framework for Equity

The growing cost of college is one of the most significant barriers to completion. However, research shows that frequent, intensive advising, combined with financial and other support, can make a tremendous difference in helping students complete. For the past two years, TICAS has worked with a group of rigorously evaluated organizations across the country that provide comprehensive approaches to student success (CASS) by connecting students with counselors and advisors to foster personal relationships and building a customized suite of support.

Along with our trusted research partners, MDRC and the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), TICAS convened these groups in a Community of Practice. Participants of the Community of Practice collaborated on a research agenda identifying the key research questions most pressing to answer at this moment in time and a framework for equity in the use of data.

Read the Research and Equity Agenda

Accountability That Works

The Gainful Employment (GE) Rule was intended to protect students from low-quality programs that often left them with a mountain of debt and credits of little to no value. Issued in 2014, the GE Rule worked to improve institutional quality while lowering costs and saving taxpayer money. Unfortunately, the 2014 GE Rule was immediately halted when the last administration took office, and officially rescinded in 2019.

This new TICAS brief provides an overview of the GE Rule, why it’s important to advance equity in higher education, and policy recommendations for how lawmakers can strengthen protections by re-instating the 2014 rule. We also suggest modifications to ensure students, taxpayers, and families are not being harmed.

Read the brief


Michigan Coalition Calls for New Investments in Higher Education

TICAS and 15 higher education, business, philanthropic, and advocacy organizations recently sent a letter to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to prioritize higher education access and success through targeted investments and improvements in financial aid, data systems, and student support.

Read the letter

Zakiya Smith Ellis named TICAS Board Chair, New Board Positions and Staff Promotions

We are thrilled to announce that Zakiya Smith Ellis has been named as Board Chair for The Institute for College Access & Success. Zakiya officially joined the TICAS board in 2018, and we are excited to have her lead the board through its next phase. Richard Kazis, former board chair, has been named board member emeritus after a decade leading the organization. We are also delighted to welcome Pam Eddinger, President of Bunker Hill Community College to our Board of Directors.

Congratulations are also in order for TICAS staff on their recent promotions: Jessica Thompson has been named Vice President, Angela Perry has been promoted to Director of Policy & Advocacy, and Chandler Whitted to Program Associate.

We’re Hiring!

TICAS is hiring for a range of positions across its programmatic, policy, research and operations teams. We are looking for people passionate about advancing affordability, accountability, and equity in higher education. Most of our open positions can operate from any location, so please check them out and spread across your networks.

Visit to learn more about open positions.

TICAS in the News

  • Newsom offers new money if California college systems meet equity goals | Michael Burke and Ashley A. Smith, EdSource
    “‘To meet its ambitious new attainment goal, California must also continue prioritizing expanded access to increased state financial aid,’ said Sameer Gadkaree, president of The Institute for College Access & Success, which advocates for college affordability. ‘That aid must aspire to meet students’ financial need up to the full cost of attendance by increasing support for nontuition costs.’”
  • Students less likely to attend college if they didn’t think their families could pay | Rick Seltzer, Higher Ed Dive
    “Making college more affordable for students would help to address the gaps in attendance, Michele Streeter, Associate Director of Policy and Advocacy, To that end, The Institute for College Access & Success has pushed efforts like doubling the maximum size of the Pell Grant for low-income students. Other changes, some of which will be implemented under a 2020 law overhauling federal student aid and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, could target students’ perceived affordability by making it easier for them to predict whether they’ll qualify for Pell Grants, Streeter said.”
  • Biden Has Extended A Pause On Student Loan Payments Due To The Latest COVID Surge | Nicole Fallert, Buzzfeed News
    “About 6 in 10 college seniors who graduated in 2019 had an average student loan debt of about $28,950, according to a report by the Institute for College Access & Success. And the amount most borrowers owe has been increasing annually as a reflection of economic health and how much schools receive from state investment, the institute found. Low-income and Black students are also disproportionately burdened by loan payments — about half of Black bachelor’s degree graduates with debt struggle to make federal loan payments ‘even in good economic times,’ a situation likely exacerbated by the pandemic, according to the report. ‘Even though it was a bit confusing … it was still the right thing to do in terms of financial impact on borrowers,’ the institute’s associate director of policy and advocacy Michele Streeter told BuzzFeed News. She added that it’s reasonable for borrowers to feel upended by the way things ‘change on a dime’ due to the pandemic and to not know if or when to make long-term financial plans.”