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Alli Bell


Alli Bell is a talented education policy analyst with a passion for public policy driven by sound research. She works with several of HCM’s higher education clients, including Lumina Foundation. She believes that all students should receive the academic and financial support they need to attend college and meet their educational goals.

A native of San Diego, Alli comes from a long line of teachers who helped to educate some of the nation’s most disadvantaged students. Stories of her mother’s work with students along the U.S.-Mexico border imparted in Alli a keen understanding of the hurdles that many students face in accessing quality education. At the same time, Alli experienced first-hand how high school experiences can discourage students from pursuing ambitious postsecondary goals – an experience that impressed upon her the importance of providing students the tools and resources they need to succeed.

These early influences stoked Alli’s passion for ensuring that higher education systems better serve the needs of students. After graduating from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, Alli earned her master’s degree in education and her Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Michigan. She has focused on working with states and individual school systems to ensure that they offer students affordable, accessible and high-quality postsecondary education.

Prior to joining HCM, Alli served as an Associate Research Scientist at the National Center for Education Statistics, where she oversaw the collection of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Graduation Rates and Fall Enrollment components. Before that, she was a policy analyst for the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO). In that role, she managed the State Higher Education Finance Report, collecting and analyzing state financial data, compiling annual higher education finance reports and collaborating with state policy makers.

An outdoor enthusiast, Alli enjoys camping, hiking and skiing, but saves her competitive spirit for sailboat racing. Alli has teamed with family members in a 59-boat sailing race from California to Hawaii, placing ninth overall and third in their division.