Support Pell Grants!

Since their inception, the Federal financial aid programs have helped millions of students realize their dream of attending college. None of these programs are more important than Pell grants. Unfortunately, not all members of Congress recognize their importance and some are actively working to decrease funding for the Pell program. Send a letter to your Representative and Senators urging them to protect and invest in the Pell Grant program. … [Read more...]

Stanford and Cal Admission Leaders Speak Out

WACAC’s Government Relations Committee has long lobbied for increased access to high quality college counseling resources for all students in California and Nevada. This was, once again, a featured talking point at WACAC’s 11th Annual Legislative Conference in Sacramento, CA, which took place less than one month ago in February 2014. A recent Op Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle by Amy Jarich of UC Berkeley and Richard Shaw of Stanford University shows that WACAC is not alone in recognizing the critical role counselors play in the transition to college. For the past two years, the Government Relations Committee has also emphasized how important it is for legislative leaders to increase access to high quality college counseling resources at the community college level, in addition to K-12 schools. The Op Ed by Jarich and Shaw states that cuts to college counseling resources in schools are short-sighted and will ultimately backfire. We agree. The legislative challenge in response … [Read more...]

How I Got Involved with the Government Relations Committee

I’ve always been a bit of a nerd about the law. It started my sophomore year of high school, when my honors history teacher witnessed me arguing with a fellow classmate. The next thing I knew, I was sitting in a meeting for the high school mock trial team. I loved it enough to continue it at the collegiate level.  Four years of arguing cases, learning case law, and competing in courtrooms later, I was a college graduate, working a real job, and I started having withdrawals for everything legal. In November of 2012, my colleague emailed me the information for the 2013 Legislative Conference provided by the Governmental Relations Committee. I signed up immediately because it sounded fascinating. I later worried about my rash registration, since I didn’t know much about what was going on in the legislature in our state, but I figured it would at least be a two-day binge of college counselor networking! Once at the hotel and settled in, we jumped right into training for our lobbying … [Read more...]

Governor Signs Controversial Community College Bill

Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that allows six community colleges to charge more for some high demand classes. The controversy, according to some, includes the potential for the unequal access to necessary course work for students.  While the bill is new and the true consequences are not known, the Government Relations Committee will be monitoring its implementation. For more on this click here:,0,5737329.story By Steven Mercer, Co-Chair (California) Government Relations Committee … [Read more...]

Join WACAC GRAC In Your Neighborhood!

Join the WACAC Government Relations Committee in your neighborhood! The Government Relations Committee (GRAC) needs your help. This fall, between now and mid-December, GRAC members will be setting out to meet with California elected officials in their local offices throughout the state. This is your perfect opportunity to be an advocate for WACAC and volunteer your time in a substantive way. All WACAC members are welcome whether you are an experienced “policy wonk”, are curious about learning how to lobby, or just want to get out of the office for an afternoon. GRAC members are organizing their local visit calendars right now, so if you are interested send an e-mail to Erica Cosgrove, Chair of Local Advocacy, at … [Read more...]