The East Bay College Access Network (East Bay CAN) was established  in 2011 to broaden college access for Oakland students. The importance of a college education cannot be overstated. According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, 65% of U.S. jobs will require postsecondary training beyond high school by 2020. Yet only 40% of 25-34 year olds hold a postsecondary degree. Despite the growing need for postsecondary training, the cost of attending a  4-year or two year public college in California can cost on average 45-55% of the total income of a family that makes under $30,000 per year . For the over 70% of low-income students in Oakland’s public schools, the high price of college along with the complicated process of applying for aid and matriculating, demand the need for a systemic approach to college access in Oakland.

Since its founding, East Bay CAN has been dedicated to developing efficient collaborative systems in Oakland Unified to strengthen the district’s capacity and increase equitable access to aid for all students. East Bay CAN has relied on a mix of school-based and district-level advocacy from local non-profits, technical assistance to administrators and practitioners, and data-driven practices to develop district-wide best practices. The methodology that resulted from these universal financial aid completion efforts in Oakland is the Four Phases of Financial Aid Toolkit, a district-wide approach to financial aid access for all.

The cost of attending a public college in California can cost in-state students as much as $12,000 to $34,000 per year.



2012 - Oakland Unified initiated a process to automatically submit Cal Grant GPAs for all 12th grade students and recent graduates, completing a critical step in the Cal Grant application process for all students each year.

2011 - 2014 - Oakland Unified increased FAFSA / CA Dream Act completion by 30%.

2015 - East Bay CAN creates the Four Phases of Financial Aid Toolkit, a set of best practices for California school districts to implement a customizable district-wide system for universal financial aid completion.

2013 - 2016 - $50,000 to $100,000 in scholarships are granted to Oakland Unified graduates each year based on their high school’s successful efforts to improve financial aid application rates.

2017 - East Bay CAN to launch a series of publications to share best practices in universal financial aid completion for California school districts.



FAFSA COMPLETION IN Oakland Unified 2011 - 2014


For more information about the East Bay College Access Network or the Four Phases of Financial Aid Toolkit please contact Arianna Morales at