Skip to main content

March 2023

Students walking down and sitting on steps

Students walking down and sitting on steps

"California Private College is Possible" Initiative Launched to Provide Outreach and Resources for College Applicants

Santa Clara University Proud to be an Inaugural Alliance Member

Santa Clara University Proud to be an Inaugural Alliance Member

SANTA CLARA, Calif.March 17, 2023 -- The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) announces the launch of a new initiative, "California Private College is Possible," that provides students, families, and counselors with valuable information about resources and other critical facts they need when applying to Independent California Colleges and Universities (ICCUs), creating a path to welcome historically underserved students to our state's top schools in greater numbers.

The announcement will take place at Santa Clara University and features representatives from each of the nine inaugural institutions participating in the initiative, as well as Assemblymember Evan Low, one of its key advocates. Representatives from these campuses will work through the initiative to share pertinent admissions information with high school and community college students along with their families and counselors. This includes admission requirements, FAFSA, institutional financial aid, and more.

"We know that many students and families just don't see themselves at our institutions," said AICCU President Kristen Soares. "They do not think they can attend. They do not think they can afford it. We see a tremendous opportunity to change this, which is why we launched this new initiative to offer better coordinated outreach and resources, particularly for low-income and first-generation college students. I'd especially like to thank Assemblymember Evan Low who has met several times with the inaugural institutions over the last year to discuss the need to better engage low-income and first generation students. This initiative underscores our commitment to be bold and to act together to engage students from traditionally underrepresented communities across California."

"AICCU understands that there are many considerations that go into picking the right institution for students to have a fulfilling college experience, which can be a springboard to professional success. Offerings that play a deciding factor on where students choose to enroll range from specialized programs and scholarships to on-campus amenities and housing. Oftentimes, the most pressing question is affordability. Many students believe higher education, especially at a private institution, is simply not a realistic option based on the perceived price tag."

To address these concerns, a group made up of institutional staff from nine ICCUs met over the course of several months, resulting in the formation of the California Private College Alliance (CPCA). The first course of action to show students that private college is possible is to provide them with a comprehensive outlook at our diverse institutions made readily available in one place. The platform is starting with a smaller set of AICCU institutions with the full expectation to be inclusive of all of the ICCUs that are AICCU member institutions who collectively provide incredible regional access for California students.

"Santa Clara University is pleased to partner with AICCU on the 'California Private College is Possible' initiative," said Julie Sullivan, President of Santa Clara University. "Helping students, particularly first-generation and low- and middle-income students, learn more about and access the resources potentially available to them at our California independent colleges, is vital. We want to see as many students as possible attend college, gain their degrees, and realize their full potential."

"At Pomona College, we are eager to work with AICCU partners across the state to help more students from all backgrounds attend and graduate from college – and help California's leaders meet the state's ambitious college attainment goals," said Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr.

AICCU and its member institutions understand the importance of creating equitable opportunities for students to access higher education in places and ways where they are most likely to succeed. The association intends to fight even harder to bring more resources that help serve our diverse student population in face of the approaching Supreme Court decision on affirmative action.

Today marks the launch of an online resource center to serve as a portal for interested parties to learn more about the initiative, research partner schools and follow steps to apply all in one online hub. By Fall 2023 more ICCUs will be added to this new website. Students and counselors will no longer have to search through various channels to get the information they need, removing a significant obstacle in pursuing a private college education.

The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) is comprised of 80+ independent, nonprofit colleges and universities, which make up the Independent California Colleges and Universities (ICCU) sector. The ICCU sector plays a pivotal role in the development of the state's model higher education offerings and in making California a symbol of innovation across the globe. Within California, ICCU institutions award nearly 20 percent of all undergraduate degrees and over 50 percent of graduate degrees, making them the largest preparers of California's advanced workforce.

About the California Private College Alliance
The California Private College Alliance (CPCA) was launched by AICCU along with California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Occidental College, Pomona College, Santa Clara University, Scripps College, Stanford University, and University of Southern California. The alliance aims to increase access to private higher education institutions by expanding coordinated outreach to students, families, and counselors that provides them with the information and resources needed to determine that California private college is possible.


Press Release