STATEMENT BY THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES ON THE ELECTION OF DONALD TRUMP

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) congratulates President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence on their victory. We pledge to work collaboratively with the new administration and Congress to address our country’s most pressing higher education challenge—the financing of public institutions in America.

America’s public colleges and universities are gateways to opportunity for millions of students and families, but they need adequate resources to perform that function well. Years of state disinvestment in public education have resulted in higher tuition, reduced affordability and growing student debt, all of which directly impacts the futures of millions of students and their families across the country.

Some four years ago, we proposed a federal-state solution to reverse the ominous and unsustainable erosion of state support for higher education. Variants of our original proposal for a federal-state partnership have been introduced in Congress and incorporated by others in their funding proposals.  We stand ready to work with federal and state policymakers to properly configure and implement this important priority.

Higher education is among the handful of policy areas that continues to enjoy broad public and bipartisan support. As publicly supported institutions, state colleges and universities have long been recognized as primary venues of access, opportunity and affordability for American families. To discharge their historic role, our institutions need and deserve adequate financial and policy support from the states and the federal government. In exchange for this, they have always been fully committed to transparency and accountability. We will work with the new administration and Congress to devise effective ways of providing clear, actionable information to the public, and procedural and outcome-based evidence of full accountability to policymakers. We call on the new administration and Congress to end the cycle of waste, fraud and abuse of students and taxpayers by unscrupulous providers, provide relief to victims of student loan fraud, and restore program integrity in federal aid programs.

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The American Association of State Colleges and Universities(AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise of Opportunities for All.