By Kayley Schoonmaker
MSCSA Vice President
On Saturday, March 15, a number of students from all across Minnesota traveled to Washington, D.C. On the first day, we welcomed our students and had dinner together. On Sunday, we began our training. Staff and cabinet provided training around effective meetings with elected officials. We engaged our students in a mock legislative visit with mock legislators. Taking what they learned with them, our students were able to meet with their elected officials and/or staff to talk about the MSCSA federal legislative agenda.
Our students advocated for expanding all forms of federal aid, reforming the “preferred lender” process to exempt the SELF loan, strengthening higher education tax credits, reducing textbook costs and expanding the use of open educational resources, and maintaining and expanding educational benefits to veterans and their families. We were also able to meet with some other interesting groups while we were in D.C., including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Student Veterans of America, and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
The trip was successful and, as always, a ton of fun. Our students were very effective in communicating the importance of these issues through facts, numbers, and powerful personal stories.