About This Episode

Season 4. Episode 2.

Step into the latest episode of Education Insight with your host, Lacey Kendall, as we embark on a comprehensive exploration of the nationwide tumult surrounding financial aid applications. Initially conceived as a streamlined process to facilitate easier access to educational funding, the federal system now finds itself entangled in a series of issues causing significant delays for FAFSA, CADAA, and Pell Grant applicants across the nation.

In this episode, we untangle the complexities of this unexpected federal mess, unraveling the root causes and examining the ripple effects on students, administrators, and dedicated financial aid professionals. From the initial plans to the current challenges, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the evolving landscape and the vital information you need to navigate through these turbulent times.

Our esteemed guest, Marlene Garcia, the Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission, joins us to share her expertise and insights. Learn how California is spearheading efforts to assist students in overcoming these challenges and securing their student aid in time for the upcoming academic term.

Tune in for an in-depth discussion that goes beyond the headlines, offering a nuanced perspective on the current state of financial aid and the ongoing strategies being implemented to ensure that students can access the support they need for their educational journey. Don’t miss this vital installment of Education Insight, where knowledge meets action in the realm of higher education finance

Featured Guest

Marlene Garcia

Executive Director, California Student Aid Commission (CSAC)


Marlene Garcia is the Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission where she oversees a budget of $3.2 billion and a team of 125. She is passionate about expanding educational opportunities by removing financial barriers to college success.

Ms. Garcia brings 30 years experience working on education policy issues for a variety of government and higher education institutions. She served more than six years as a national leader in Apple Inc.’s Education Strategic Initiatives Group. Additionally, in her distinguished career, she has served as Vice Chancellor of Government Relations for the California Community College System, Deputy State Policy Director for the California State University System, and as a Senior Policy Consultant in the Senate Education Committee. She also served as a Senior Higher Education Advisor to former Assembly Speaker Willie L. Brown, Jr.

View our podcast page for more stories like this: https://inlandempiregia.org/gia-podcasts/

Education Insight tells the story of education in the Inland Empire through the diverse voices of those in and around the regional education community. The show is produced by Growing Inland Achievement, a collective impact organization in the Inland Empire with a mission to increase economic prosperity in the region by increasing educational attainment. Hosted by 30-year broadcast veteran Lacey Kendall, monthly shows explore topics ranging from education challenges and shortcomings to innovations and groundbreaking ideas that are driving student success.

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