Student PIRGs seeking Higher Education Associate



As part of a nationwide network of student and consumer advocacy organizations, the Student PIRGs have worked for nearly 40 years to stand up to powerful special interests. Our Higher Education Project was launched in 1994 on the premise that affordable, accessible higher education is critical for our nation’s future. 
Unfortunately, today’s higher education system is anything but that. In the past few decades, the cost of a college degree has increased four times the rate of inflation. More than 71% of graduates leave college with debt, at an average of almost $30,000. As a nation, we hold almost $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. 
That’s why we’ve fought so hard over the past 20 years – working to increase the Pell Grant, stopping big banks from taking advantage of student loans, and introducing more affordable textbook alternatives to campus. Right now, we’re pushing back against cuts to the federal higher education funding, protecting student consumers from predatory products, and working to introduce free, online textbooks into classrooms.


We need people who are willing to work hard to advocate for the public interest — whether it’s developing campaigns, building coalitions, mobilizing and organizing the public, showcasing our work online and in the media, or making our case directly to decision-makers.

Our two-year program emphasizes hands-on training and leadership development, giving staff the opportunity to make a tangible impact on critical issues while gaining real-world skills that will prepare you to be a future leader within PIRG. Some primary responsibilities of the Higher Education Associate include:

    – Organizing our student leaders and staff around the country to build grassroots power
    – Directly advocating on Capitol Hill and across various institutions on behalf of students  
    – Conducting research to demonstrate the urgency and impact of higher education issues   
    – Working with the media to generate broad public support and pressure for our campaigns
    – Recruiting and building relationships with coalition partners in DC and around the country


We look for smarts, leadership experience, top-notch written and verbal skills, and an eagerness to learn. The role includes a high level of responsibility and autonomy, so we value candidates that have demonstrated a willingness to take the initiative and manage competing priorities. The ideal candidate will have experience organizing, especially building campus groups.

DETAILS: The position is based in Washington, DC. We accept applications on a rolling basis. Estimated start date: August 1, 2016.

APPLY: Go to, and enter “Higher Education Associate” as the position you’re applying for.