Statewide & Federal Advocacy

What if hard work and talent—not money—decided who succeeds in college?

The cost of college tuition has increased 3,009% in the last 50 years, leaving student loan borrowers crippled by more than $1.75 trillion in student loan debt or unable to attain a higher education because of the cost. That is why Rise trains students to be their best advocates in lobbying for state and federal policies that support making college affordable and accessible to all.

Rise’s student-led advocacy campaigns have helped achieve free college in California, Michigan and New Mexico, making college more accessible for millions of students across the country. 

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rise, in partnership with Swipe Out Hunger, led a campaign that pressured Congress to deliver $6 billion in CARES Act funding to students impacted by COVID-19.

Rise’s most recent advocacy efforts have focused on championing student debt relief for 40 million Americans and successfully pressuring President Biden to deliver on his campaign promise. In February 2023, Rise brought 100+ students to Washington D.C. to stake out outside of the U.S. Supreme Court overnight, representing the millions of Americans that would be impacted if the Supreme Court sided against student debt relief. We expect a decision in the coming months.

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