Thank you, Natalie

Congratulations to Rep. Natalie Higgins. PHENOM will miss you!

We were thrilled to join former PHENOM executive director Natalie Higgins at her inauguration for her new position as State Representative on Wednesday at the State House in Boston. Natalie cast her first votes in the House of Representatives and celebrated this amazing accomplishment with her family.

As we all know, Natalie has devoted the better part of her life to PHENOM for the past three years. We would not be where we are today without her dedication and passion for building a free public higher education system here in Massachusetts.

Natalie will continue to lead this fight as Rep. Higgins, and she has already promised to co-sponsor and file two bills this session that would bring us closer to fair, accessible and debt-free public higher ed.

(1) Finish Line Grants would provide #OneYearFree at any public two-year or four-year college after a student completes their first year and if their family income is less than $125,000. Passage of this bill through the legislature would mark the first major investment in college affordability in Massachusetts in several years, and it would apply to all 29 community college, UMass and state university campuses in the Commonwealth. Call your Reps and Senators and tell them to co-sponsor the Finish Line Grant!

(2) The Student Borrower’s Bill of Rights protects students from unfair collection practices by student loan debt servicers. Based on similar protections in Connecticut, this would create a statewide Student Loan Ombudsman Office that would oversee loan servicers and ensure they are following best practices.

We know Natalie will keep fighting for students and working families at the State House, and we can’t wait to see her at our 6th Annual Public Higher Education Advocacy Day on March 1. Make sure to register for Advocacy Day right now!