Letter from TICAS President, Sameer Gadkaree August 2023

A journey is often defined by its beginning and its end. Where it started and where it finished.

However, the path to broad and equitable higher education has not followed a linear trajectory. The twists and turns of national and state policy require us to reflect on our organization’s journey; the triumphs and losses, and the slew of hurdles that have put our values to the test over the past 18 years and counting.

Today, at this challenging moment, we choose to recommit to our work in creating a more fair, accessible, and equitable higher education system, clear-eyed about the political, structural, and financial challenges that lie ahead. We are ready to move Onward with an understanding of the past and a clear vision for the future we want to build.

I’m proud to share our new strategic plan, TICAS:Onward, grounded in our newly defined mission and vision. We are doubling down on our commitment to the nation’s most vulnerable students by addressing today’s policy challenges: the generational burden of student debt; persistent gaps in educational access and outcomes by race and income; the continued threat of predation, fraud, and abuse in the higher education system; and continued inequities in the resources available to public colleges educating the vast majority of students. To meet these challenges, we will continue to root our efforts in student-centered research to inform decision makers of the realities that families, institutions, and borrowers face while navigating the higher education system we have today.

We must move Onward. Onward to a new debt-free future for higher education in which all students can realize their college dreams in a high-quality college program, free of predation. Onward to a future where higher education is equally open to all students who want to pursue it, regardless of their racial and economic background or where they live. Onward to a new higher education ecosystem that ensures student needs –basic and academic — are met and supported so they can successfully complete college.

I encourage you to learn more about TICAS:Onward by clicking here. Together with you, we look forward to traversing the next phase of this journey toward providing a better path to and through higher education for the next generation.

Thank you for your continued support and joining us in this important work.

Sincerely and in Community,

Sameer Gadkaree, TICAS President



The Institute for College Access & Success

Source of research, design, & advocacy for student-centered public policies that promote affordability, accountability, and equity in higher ed. ticas.org