Campus and Community

UHD Student Body President Selected to Help Combat Student Debt in Washington, D.C.

White House PicThe National Campus Leadership Council (NCLC) recently named John Locke, president of the Student Government Association at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), to its National Affordability Working Group.

Locke joins 17 other student body presidents from across the nation this week in Washington, D.C. to raise their voices in support of critically needed reform regarding skyrocketing student debt.

The National Affordability Working Group members lend their perspectives and expertise to NCLC, who released a report, “2015 Students Speak Report on Federal Student Aid & Job Readiness” this week. This work will build on NCLC’s Student Speak Series, which brought more than 200 student leaders and 100 business leaders together in 15 cities to discuss regional job readiness and college opportunity challenges.

“National officials are making some enormous decisions about the future of higher education,” said Andy MacCracken, NCLC executive director and co-founder. “NCLC’s Working Group will make sure student voices are a meaningful part of that process.”

Beyond providing support and feedback on the paper, the Working Group will help develop and drive NCLC’s national engagement strategy as the country navigates challenging policy questions on student debt, college value and student success.

“College affordability is a pressing issue that not only affects students, but is crippling our national economy as the future of our workforce is being drowned with insurmountable debt,” said Locke. “I look forward to collaborating with other student body presidents from around the nation this week to help tackle this issue.”

The Working Group includes student body presidents from a variety of public and private, four-year and two-year institutions from across the country. NCLC’s research and pending report on student engagement in federal education policy was generously supported by the Lumina Foundation.

NCLC has led major initiatives on college affordability since their 2012 launch. In 2012 and 2013, the organization worked with more than 450 student body presidents to successfully advocate for Congress to maintain low student loan interest rates. Since then, NCLC has helped student leaders navigate institutional and state level policies to address college costs and student loan debt.