greg saks, Dominic Quan Treseler, mildred garcia, ted lieu, wenda fong, beth steffel
Story Leadership

CSU Leaders Seek More Federal Support for College Students During Hill Day

Alisia Ruble

University and student leaders helped advance federal priorities to double Pell, increase aid to Minority-Serving Institutions and protect Dreamers.

greg saks, Dominic Quan Treseler, mildred garcia, ted lieu, wenda fong, beth steffel

​From left: CSU Vice Chancellor for External Relations and Communications Greg Saks, CSU Academic Senate Chair Beth Steffel, CSU Chancellor Mildred Garcí​a, U.S. Representative​ Ted Lieu, CSU Board of Trustees Chair Wenda Fong and CSSA President Dominic Quan Treseler.


Coinciding with the arrival of Washington, D.C.'s famous spring blooms, a group of California State University delegates gathered in our nation's capital last week to help advance top federal priorities as part of annual Hill Day events coordinated by the CSU Office of Federal Relations.

The delegation, made up of CSU students, alumni, staff, trustees and leadership, met with federal leaders and legislators including Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and Representatives Nanette Barragan, Judy Chu and Ted Lieu to advocate on behalf of current and future college students.

Their conversations centered on the need to double the maximum Pell Grant, increase aid to Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs)—particularly Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)—and find a bipartisan pathway to citizenship and federal financial assistance for Dreamers and DACA recipients.

At a Hill Day kick-off reception, CSU Chancellor Mildred García participated in a panel discussion on the higher education policy in Washington,​ D.C. alongside American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) President Charles Welch and Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Mark Becker. Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Nasser Paydar gave a keynote address at the event.

García delivered an invigorating call to CSU legislative liaisons and advocates during the event and outlined the university's federal priorities, stating that doubling the maximum Pell Grant “will ensure that the great American success story will continue to be written for future generations of CSU students."

Approximately 208,000 CSU students rely on Pell Grants to be able to attend college and more than 64,000 CSU Pell recipients earned bachelor's degrees in 2021-22—about 58% of the total graduating class.

The chancellor also reminded representatives that, as one of the nation's most diverse four-year public university's system, the CSU is often looked at as a model in providing opportunities for upward mobility to students from all backgrounds. Twenty-one of the CSU's 23 universities are designated as HSIs, and more than half are AANAPISIs.

“Serving students of color is core to the CSU's mission," García said. “Many of our innovations in academic programming and student support services to advance this priority have become national models. Additional funding will help us continue to set the bar, raise graduation rates and lead the nation in our work to eliminate equity gaps for these historically underrepresented student populations."

García and Chair of the CSU Board of Trustees Wenda Fong attended several events throughout the week, including a lunch with members of the California Democratic Party during which García gave remarks about the importance and uniqueness of the CSU. Additionally, García gave the opening remarks at an event on social mobility hosted by Representative Scott Peters and CSU San Marcos President Ellen Neufeldt. 

CSU leaders also attended the CSU Alumni and Congressional Community Reception, which included CSU alumni, elected officials and members of the California Congressional Delegation and Department of Health and Human Services officials.

About 300 people ​attended the event, which served as an opportunity for CSU alumni living in the D.C. area and members of the congressional community to welcome Chancellor García to the university, network with one another and reconnect with their campus.


Explore photos and social media posts from​ Hill Day events.