Oregon had one of the worst records nationally for spending on need-based student aid.
Oregon's independent colleges retained CFM to build long-term support for higher levels of student aid. The challenge was to do it without picking a fight with state-funded public universities and community colleges.
CFM launched an Investing in Students campaign that was anchored by a series of profiles of students who attended an independent college in Oregon and received need-based financial aid. The profiles were short, first-hand accounts of why the students attended college, their life goals and the importance of student aid in making their choice of a college. The profiles were used during the 1999 and 2001 state legislative sessions.
Much of the Investing in Students legislative package was adopted, including renaming need-based student aid as Opportunity Grants. In the 2001 session, the governor and the legislature boosted student aid, while enacting spending cuts for state universities.