J. Oliver Schak
Senior Policy and Research Associate for Higher Education
Oliver designs and conducts analyses related to access, affordability, and student success in higher education. He supports The Education Trust in focusing attention on trends in outcomes for students of color and low-income students.
Prior to joining Ed Trust, Oliver worked at the U.S. Department of Education within the Policy and Program Studies Service. He analyzed data and supported policy development in areas related to federal student aid programs, institutional accreditation, the College Scorecard, development education, articulation transfer agreements, and education finance. On a rotation with the U.S. Department of Treasury, he also helped create a federal-wide schema for implementation of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act in order to improve federal spending transparency. Before coming to DC, Oliver interned for the California Legislative Analyst’s Office and worked as a banking and financial markets research associate at the Federal Research Bank of Kansas City.
A native of Minneapolis, Oliver received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Carleton College and received his masters of public policy degree from UC Berkeley.
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What drew you to education?
Both my parents taught in the Saint Paul Public Schools and believed strongly in providing access to good public schools for all students. They made me aware of how educational disparities impact students from preschool through college. I am also inspired by my grandparents, who helped force the Denver Public Schools to desegregate in a landmark Supreme Court case.