As college and university students in California and around the country settle into the rhythms of another academic year, there’s a troubling narrative making the rounds that a college education just isn’t worth it. While tuition, living and other expenses have increased dramatically in recent decades, data continues to demonstrate that college can deliver enormous payoffs for students, especially for students of color and those from lower income families.
A major related concern is that the perspectives and experiences of these students and families are largely absent from the dialogue on college access and affordability. At the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, we’re working with community partners to ensure that students and families have a voice in shaping policy and critical supports to boost college access and completion.
Together with other funders, the Haas, Jr. Fund has a long record of supporting the ability of movements and organizations to employ powerful stories and messages to advance equity and justice. Over the last few years, we’ve seen fresh interest in narrative and storytelling among partners across our core programs. People and groups are eager to shape the stories of their communities and advance powerful—and positive—narratives about their aspirations.