Government Relations

The Government Relations Committee communicates information regarding college admission counseling to federal and state legislative bodies and acts as a liaison to legislative committees or officers of other like-minded organizations. The committee develops a state/regional advocacy network to educate members on post-secondary education issues and priorities.

Committee Chair

Stephanie Brazinsky
High School Counselor
Denver South High School
[email protected]

Committee Members

RMACAC Legislative Initiatives
*All policy initiatives listed are written by NACAC (as listed on their website) and supported by RMACAC

Student- and Equity-Centered Admission Practices

Undocumented Students 

Each year, several thousand undocumented students graduate high school, many of whom have lived in the United States since childhood. Following the 1982 Supreme Court decision in Plyer v. Doe, it has been the law of the land that public elementary and secondary schools must provide a free and appropriate education to all children, regardless of their legal status. 

NACAC and RMACAC believe that making higher education accessible to these individuals is the right thing to do -- from both humanitarian and economic perspectives. Higher education has been linked to healthier, happier lives and increased civic participation. From a fiscal outlook, investing in higher education results in strong economic returns, for individuals and also for society. Median earnings for bachelor's degree holders are 64% higher than those for high school graduates, and college graduates typically pay 134% more in federal income taxes than non-degree holders. 

NACAC & RMACAC support the following efforts to support DACA students: Tuition equity policies that allow undocumented students to pay resident tuition rates at public colleges and universities and continued state policies that make need-based financial aid available to undocumented students (CASFA). 

Need-Based Financial Aid 

It is no secret that affording college is, for many families, more difficult to do today than it used to be. While some of the increase in college cost is attributable to rising fees and inflation, it is also important to understand that much of the increase in price families experience is due to a long-term shift away from state support for higher education. In the face of shrinking appropriations, institutions of higher education are placing more of the burden of financing a college education on students and families. Investing in higher education brings great economic rewards, and NACAC strongly urges states to increase the funding they provide to public colleges and universities, which will help reduce the out-of-pocket expenses. 

Another way states and the federal government help families manage the costs of higher education is through direct financial aid—money awarded to an individual student, not the college. Financial aid generally comes in three forms: (1) scholarships/grants, awarded based on need or merit, which do not need to be repaid; (2) student loans, made available based on need, which must be repaid; and (3) work study, which is offered based on need, and must be earned through approved employment. 

NACAC & RMACAC support the following efforts to support school counselors: 

  • Increase state appropriation for need-based assistance 
  • Strengthen support and funding for state financial aid programs

Rigorous Curriculum 

College success begins long before students ever apply for admission. In order to be prepared for postsecondary education, students need access to high-quality, rigorous curricula in high school. The rigor of a student’s high school curriculum has been identified in numerous studies as a leading predictor of college success—far more so than standardized test results. It makes sense, then, that according to NACAC member surveys, admission officers give highest consideration to students’ high school coursework and performance when evaluating applications for admission. 

Despite evidence of the importance of a strong curriculum, inequities in access to high-level coursework persist across socioeconomic lines. Low-income students are more likely to attend underfunded and under-resourced schools that do not offer advanced coursework. Increasing equitable access to rigorous curricula will help more underserved students graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary success. 

NACAC & RMACAC support the following efforts to support school counselors: 

  • Alignment of state graduation requirements and curricula with widely-accepted college and career readiness standards 
  • Expansion of course offerings in public schools that enable students to earn college credits, such as AP or IB courses 
  • Creation or enhancement of high school/college dual credit partnerships 


Professional Responsibility and Ethics for College Admission Counseling Professionals

Expansion of Capacity and Impact of School Counselors and College Advisors

School counselors play an essential role in helping students prepare and plan for postsecondary education. A NACAC report found that students who meet one-on-one with a school counselor are 6.8 times more likely to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), 3.2 times more likely to attend college, and 2 times more likely to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program. Unfortunately, too many students lack access to a school counselor who has the time and support needed to adequately advise each student. 

The American School Counselor Association and NACAC recommend a student-to-counselor ratio of 250:1. According to the most recent NACAC State-by-State Student-to-Counselor Ratio Report, the RMACAC states have the following the following ratios:

  • Arizona -  924:1
  • Colorado - 383:1
  • New Mexico - 451:1
  • Utah - 684:1
  • Wyoming - 219:1

  NACAC & RMACAC support the following efforts to support school counselors: 

  • Reducing student-to-counselor ratio to 250:1 
  • Increasing funding allocated to schools/districts for school counselors 
  • Ensuring school counselors have access to professional development opportunities 
  • Creating pilot programs to incorporate coursework on postsecondary planning into counseling graduate programs.