Higher education is in a state of crisis. Public funding for schools is decreasing. Tuition and fees are rising. Students continue to shoulder the burden of these trends, collectively taking on nearly $1.6 trillion in debt. Yet institutional leaders are pouring billions of dollars into risky financial investments and expensive amenities—actively prioritizing monetary gains over affordability and educational quality.
This is part of a greater phenomenon called Financialization, and it directly affects millions of students across the nation. The Roosevelt Network believes higher education is a public good that should be accessible for all. To help students defend this public good in their own communities, we are launching the second edition of the Financialization of Higher Education Incubator. Our “Fincubator” is a paid, part-time, eight-week program designed to train and equip students with the information and skills needed to defend higher education as a public good. Students will research and evaluate the financialization of their own college campus, and work with decision-makers and campus coalitions to develop recommendations and advocacy plans to prioritize student voice in financial decision-making.
Students work in groups to develop a project on their campus, and each group member will receive an individual stipend. Each project will receive an operating budget for project-related expenses. Each student is expected to reserve 5–7 hours/week to participate in trainings and work on their project.
- Biweekly trainings focused on understanding the concept of financialization, how to do Financialization research, data analysis and hypotheses building, how to build advocacy and coalition building
- Biweekly deliverables designed to build practical skills while developing the group’s project (each deliverable is a piece of the campaign/research project), consisting of a complete finance data sheet, power map, data analysis and hypotheses development sheet, and a one-page summary of findings and call for action
- Biweekly check-ins with dedicated national staff to assist with deliverables and provide individualized support to each group
Who should apply:
- Groups of 2–5 Roosevelters
- Students who can commit to 5–7 hours/week
- Roosevelters who have not worked on financialization research before
- Roosevelters who believe higher education is a public good and should be accessible to all
- Roosevelters from different chapters may apply in the same group—but only if working on cross-campus research and advocacy makes more sense than doing it separately for each campus
Our goal is to have a diverse representation of students at all levels. We welcome applications from Roosevelters with diverse backgrounds, including gender identities and expressions, race, and class. If you are a member of one of the equity groups, you are encouraged to self-identify on your application form.
What is NOT needed:
- A formed idea. We will help you build your idea and campaign from scratch
- A knack for numbers and data. The trainings are designed to help you with that
- Prior knowledge of finance, financialization, Excel, or other data management software
What to expect if selected:
- Individualized support from national staff and the financialization coordinator
- Resources and examples to help you with your deliverables
- Skills and “how-to” trainings focused on research, analysis, and coalition building
- Concept trainings designed to build your knowledge on financialization, both as a theory and as it relates specifically to your institution
- Opportunity to pipeline into Emerging or Summer Fellowship positions
- A developed idea and campaign strategy by the end of the program
Timeline Fall 2019:
- Applications open: Monday, August 26th
- Applications close: Sunday, September 15th
- Applicants notified: Wednesday, September 25th
- Incubator starts: Monday, October 1st
- Incubator ends: Wednesday, November 27th