Reclaim the American Dream

Organizations: Student Debt

Cancel Student Debt:
Reform Advocacy Groups

Organizations Working on This Issue

There are a variety of organizations that seek ways to relieve the rising tide of student debt, both through changes in public policy at the state and national levels, through student actions, private initiatives and reforms that set more rigorous performance standards for universities that foster massive student borrowing. Listed below are several major national organizations that are at work on the problem of student debt. The staffs and websites of these organizations provide a wealth of information and analysis about student debt as well as federal and state programs that affect the financing of higher education.


220 Fifth Ave,. 2nd Flr.
New York, NY 10001
(212) 633-1405

Tamara Draut, Vice President, Policy & Research
Robert Hiltonsmith, Senior Policy Analyst

Demos is a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy. Our name means “the people.” It is the root word of democracy, and it reminds us that in America, the true source of our greatness is the diversity of our people. Our nation’s highest challenge is to create a democracy that truly empowers people of all backgrounds so that we all have a say in setting the policies that shape opportunity and provide for our common future. To help America meet that challenge, Demos is working to reduce both political and economic inequality, deploying original research, advocacy, litigation, and strategic communications to create the America the people deserve.

Education Trust

250 H Street, N.W., Suite 700,
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 293-1217

Kati Haycock, President
José Luis Santos, Vice President for Higher Education Policy and Practice

The Education Trust promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college. Our goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign far too many young people—especially those from low-income families or who are black, Latino, or American Indian—to lives on the margins of the American mainstream.
• We work alongside educators, parents, students, policymakers, and civic and business leaders in communities across the country, providing practical assistance in their efforts to transform schools and colleges into institutions that serve all students well. • We analyze local, state, and national data and use what we learn to help build a broader understanding of achievement and opportunity gaps and the actions necessary to close them.
• We participate actively in national and state policy debates, bringing lessons learned from on-the-ground work and from unflinching data analyses to build the case for policies that will help all students and schools reach high levels of achievement

Federal Education Budget Project, New America Foundation

The New America Foundation
1899 L Street, N.W., Suite 400,
Washington, DC 20036
199 Lafayette Street, Suite 3B
New York, NY 10012

Jason Delisle, Director,

The mission of the Federal Education Budget Project is to serve as a non-partisan, authoritative source of easily accessible information on federal education funding for the media, policymakers and staff, state and local officials, non-profit organizations, and the public. Our goal is to help heighten the quality of debate on federal education funding and support the development of fiscally responsible proposals to improve federal support for education.

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)

1101 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20036-4303
(202) 785-0453

Ms. Eileen O’Leary, Stonehill College (National Chair)
Justin Draeger, President and CEO

NASFAA provides professional development for financial aid administrators; advocates for public policies that increase student access and success; serves as a forum on student financial aid issues, and is committed to diversity throughout all activities.

New Economy Coalition

89 South Street, Suite 406
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 946-3200

Director of Communications and Online Organizing, Eli Feghali
Director of Programs, Rachel Plattus

The New Economy Coalition (NEC) is a network of organizations seeking to imagine and build a future where people, communities, and ecosystems thrive. NEC is seeking to create deep change in the economy and politics—placing power in the hands of the people.

Project on Student Debt, An initiative of the Institute for College Access & Success

1111 16th St., NW, Suite 310
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 223-6060
405 14th St., Suite 1100
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 318-7900 phone
(510) 318-7918 fax

Pauline Abernathy, Vice President
Jessica Thompson, Senior Policy Analyst

For Americans of all socio-economic backgrounds, borrowing has become a primary way to pay for higher education. The Project on Student Debt works to increase public understanding of this trend and the implications for our families, economy, and society. Recognizing that loans play a critical role in making college possible, the Project’s goal is to identify cost-effective solutions that expand educational opportunity, protect family financial security, and advance economic competitiveness. The Project on Student Debt is an initiative of the Institute for College Access & Success, a nonprofit independent research and policy organization dedicated to making college more available and affordable to people of all backgrounds.

State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

3035 Center Green Dr., Suite 100
Boulder, CO 80301
(303) 541-1600

Andy Carlson, Senior Policy Analyst, (303) 541-1607,

SHEEO, founded in 1954, is the national association of state higher education leaders who serve statewide coordinating and governing boards and other state policy agencies for higher education. SHEEO serves its members as an advocate for state policy leadership, as a liaison between states and the federal government, as a vehicle for learning from and collaborating with peers, and as a source of information and analysis on educational and public policy issues. SHEEO seeks to advance public policies and educational practices to achieve more widespread access and successful participation in higher education, more new discoveries through research, and more applications of knowledge that improve the quality of human lives.

Strike Debt/Rolling Jubilee

An offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street, Strike Debt is a nationwide movement of debt resisters fighting for economic justice and democratic freedom. Using direct action, research, education, and the arts, we are coming together to challenge this illegitimate system while imagining and creating alternatives. (Online)

Natalia Abrams, Executive Director,
Cody Hounanian, Digital Director, [Twitter] @chounanian.

Student Debt a non-profit organization (501c4) dedicated to fundamentally reforming the way in which higher education is paid for in America. The nation’s future success is wholly dependent upon a citizenry with the critical thinking skills necessary for innovation, entrepreneurship, and prosperity. Central to our mission is a belief that a well-educated citizenry is essential to our success as a nation in the global, 21st Century economy.


Student Loan Justice is a grassroots, citizen organization dedicated to returning standard consumer protections to student loans. The group was started in March 2005 and has focused primarily on research, media outreach, and grassroots lobbying initiatives.

United for a Fair Economy

1 Milk Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 423-2148

Executive Director & Popular Educator, Jeannette Huezo
Director of Communications, Mike Leyba
Education Coordinator, Riahl O’Malley
Director, Tax Fairness Organizing Collaborative, Michael Young

“United for a Fair Economy challenges the concentration of wealth and power that corrupts democracy, deepens the racial divide, and tears communities apart. We use popular economics education, training, and creative communications to support social movements working for a resilient, sustainable, and equitable economy.”

United States Student Association

1211 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 406
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 640-6570

John Aspray, National Field Director,
Justin Habler, Legislative Director,

The United States Student Association, the country’s oldest, largest, and most inclusive national student-led organization, develops current and future leaders and amplifies the student voice at the local, state, and national levels by mobilizing grassroots power to win concrete victories on student issues.

Young Invincibles

(National Office)
Washington D.C.

Jen Mishory, Executive Director
Aaron Smith, Senior Strategic Advisor & Co-Founder

Affiliate offices in New York, NY, Chicago, IL, Houston, TX, Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA

A national organization, representing the interests of 18 to 34 year-olds and making sure that our perspective is heard wherever decisions about our collective future are being made. We do this through conducting cutting-edge policy research and analysis, sharing the stories of young adults, designing campaigns to educate on important issue areas, informing and mobilizing our generation, and advocating to change the status quo.

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