AICUM Hosts Financial Aid Advocacy Day at the MA State House
On February 24th, NEC member the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) held their annual Financial Aid Advocacy Day at the Massachusetts State House. The event featured over 150 students from almost 30 colleges and universities throughout the Commonwealth. Students, along with their faculty representatives, heard remarks from various State House officials, including Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, regarding the legislature’s efforts to fund student aid and the importance of higher education for both students and the economy.
Following the various speeches, students proceeded to meet with individual legislators who represented their hometowns or schools to advocate in person for increased financial aid and scholarships. Specifically, students advocated for an increase in funding for the MassGrant program and to restore higher education funding, whether it be direct aid or scholarships, to the level it was at before the economic downturn in 2008. Many students shared their personal stories of how they have benefited from financial aid and how it helped improve their higher education opportunities.
Speaker DeLeo stated that “the most important lobbying efforts are by the people who are actually affected. That’s what makes the real difference to lawmakers,” when explaining why the student-legislator meetings are so important. Additionally, Speaker DeLeo noted that “each [student] is critical to the future of the Commonwealth and my hope is that you stay here after you graduate and continue to be part of our dynamic Massachusetts economy.”
Numerous NEC higher education members participated in AICUM’s Financial Aid Advocacy Day including Boston University, Cambridge College, Curry College, Emmanuel College, Emerson College, Endicott College, Fisher College, Lasell College, Newbury College, Northeastern University, Stonehill College, Suffolk University, Tufts University, Wentworth Institute, Wheelock College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The New England Council thanks AICUM and our higher education institutions for advocating for such an important cause that will lead to a stronger and more dynamic Massachusetts economy.