More than 100 California State University champions joined Chancellor Timothy P. White, CSU trustees and campus presidents to promote the CSU's federal priorities during "Hill Day" in Washington, D.C. on April 11.

The CSU delegations met with legislators to discuss the CSU's 2018 federal priorities, most of which are related to the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). About 75 percent of all federal student aid flows through HEA programs, which support hundreds of thousands of CSU students and help the university meet goals to improve graduation rates and eliminate opportunity and achievement gaps through Graduation Initiative 2025

A top CSU priority for HEA reauthorization is a continued commitment to the Pell program, including restoring automatic cost-of-living increases to the maximum Pell Grant. Pell is the foundation of federal student aid and is critical to ensuring access and success for disadvantaged students. More than 221,000 CSU students receive Pell Grants, and last year alone, nearly 58,000 recipients earned their bachelor's degrees. 

The CSU has also prioritized supporting continued funding for minority-serving institution programs. Numerous CSUs are designated as Hispanic-Serving (HSI) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving (AANAPISI) institutions, and receive millions in competitive grant money to support student success and completion.

Other CSU priorities for HEA reauthorization include strengthening student preparation programs including TRIO and GEAR UP, expanding summer bridge and veterans opportunities, and renewing programs that support teacher preparation.

With these critical topics in mind, Chancellor White's delegation met with lawmakers including the California Democratic Caucus, Chairwoman Virginia Foxx and Ranking Member Bobby Scott of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Sen. Kamala Harris, and co-chairs of the California Public Higher Education Caucus Reps. Jeff Denham (R - Turlock) and Ami Bera (D - Elk Grove).

The delegations also voiced support for congressional action to protect DACA recipients and provide them with long-term stability. Around 8,000 CSU students receive AB 540 waivers and many are undocumented and qualify for DACA.

Hill Day is an annual collaborative effort organized by the CSU's Office of Federal Relations, which works closely with the California congressional delegation and national associations of higher education to be a voice for the CSU on a national level. Learn more about the CSU's 2017-18 federal priorities here.