Free College Advocacy

The national college affordability crisis is an issue that permeates almost every aspect of American life.

Whether directly impacted or not, its long-term repercussions will affect every single American in some way or another at some point in their lives. The financial obstacles that prevent young people from attaining a college degree perpetuates racial, social, and economic disparities, and we believe alleviating this crisis is one way to begin to dismantle the systemic inequities that exist as a by-product of our nation’s unjust history.


Since our inception, Rise has advocated for and won free college programs across the country, impacting thousands of students and their ability to attain a higher education. Our students have also been a leading voice on student debt cancellation, winning millions of dollars of relief for millions of Americans through President Biden's forgiveness programs. Click here to learn more about our college affordability work in each of our core states.

Ambalika Williams

5 Reasons Why College Affordability
Is an ‘Everybody Issue‘

It’s An Economic Issue: 44M Americans hold $1.6 trillion in federal student loan debt. The college affordability crisis and the burden of student loan debt can limit economic growth as individuals may have less disposable income to spend on goods and services.

It’s an Equity Issue: The college affordability crisis disproportionately affects low-income and minority students, hindering access to higher education for those who can't afford it and thus, perpetuating a cycle of poverty and economic inequity.

It’s A Retirement Savings & Social Security Issue: The cost of college and student loan payments can hamper individuals' ability to save for retirement, leading to a higher percentage of older adults who are financially insecure in their later years.

It’s A Housing Market Issue: High levels of student debt can reduce demand for homeownership among younger generations, impacting the housing market and potentially affecting property values.

It’s A Government Spending & National Debt Issue: The burden of the cost of college can increase demands for government assistance and forgiveness programs, potentially putting pressure on public finances and budget allocations.


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