Season 3, Episode 7 - Fixing the Financial Aid Crisis

​​About This Episode:

In 2021, Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes introduced assembly bill, AB469 to make applying for financial aid through the FAFSA and the California Dream Act application a requirement for high school seniors in California. 

In this episode, we speak with the vice president of the Public Policy Institute of California, the executive director of the Education Trust-West, and the director of education services at the Montebello School District to discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of this policy and what the next steps should be to ensure more students from underrepresented communities can finance their education.

Featured on This Episode:

  • Lande​ Ajose is vice president and Walter and Esther Hewlett Chair in Understanding California's Future. She is also interim director of the PPIC Higher Education Center and a senior fellow at PPIC. Her career has focused on improving the lives of Californians by working in state government, private philanthropy, and research institutions. Her research interests include addressing issues of inequality through education and employment. She was recently the senior policy advisor for higher education for the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom. Before joining the Newsom administration, she was executive director of California Competes, chaired the California Student Aid Commission, and served on the governance bodies of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the Institute for College Access and Success, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. She currently sits on the Board of Trustees at Occidental College. She holds a PhD in urban and regional studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Christopher Nellum is the Executive Director of The Education Trust–West, a nonprofit education equity organization focused on educational justice and closing achievement and opportunity gaps for students of color and students from lower-income communities from preschool through college. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Nellum was at the National Center for Institutional Diversity, Young Invincibles, and the American Council on Education. He cut his teeth in education equity on college campuses working directly with students. Nellum completed his undergraduate degree at UC Santa Barbara, master's degree at CSU Long Beach, and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.
  • Leticia Alividrez is the director of education services at the Montebello School District

Resources for This Episode: