Alejandra Acosta

As the Senior Policy and Research Analyst, Alejandra Acosta works to improve higher education and workforce policies for a more equitable California.

Prior to joining California Competes, Alejandra was a Policy Analyst with New America where she led a research project in collaboration with the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association that analyzed higher education’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also conducted extensive research on the equitable and ethical use of predictive analytics in retention and admissions in higher education. Alejandra also worked on several federal higher education policy topics such as accreditation and financial aid offer letters. She has published many reports, blog posts, and op-eds, and some of her featured work can be found in The Hechinger Report and Inside Higher Ed. Alejandra also interned with both Lumina Foundation and the Kresge Foundation where she supported the teams’ grantmaking across the country.

As the daughter of immigrants, Alejandra is committed to making higher education equitable for students of color and other non-traditional students such as low-income students, first-generation students, and adult students. She earned her Master’s degree in Higher Education from the University of Michigan and Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Spanish, Community and Culture with a minor in Chicana/o/x Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

What motivates you to advance California Competes's mission?

Higher education helped my family and I get to where we are today, but not everyone in our community had the same privilege. Working with California Competes allows me to influence our higher education system so that more people from underserved communities can have the same, or better, access to education and jobs than my family did.