nicole johnson

Nicole Johnson is a program manager at JFF. Her work focuses on school-college partnerships and strengthening programs that increase college access and readiness.

Her skills and areas of expertise include:

  • Higher education policy
  • Early college
  • Financial aid
  • Design and development of student transition programs

Before joining JFF, Nicole worked in higher education for seven years. During that time, she held roles related to admissions, housing, financial aid, student activities, and international student services and was involved in designing summer bridge programs. She also taught developmental courses at a community college.

Throughout her career, Nicole has had many research assistant roles, primarily focusing on student loan debt and the effects that precollege credit initiatives have on the budgets and operations of four-year institutions.

Nicole is an education policy fellow with the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy and an active member of the National College Access Network.

She is passionate about helping low-income students understand their college options and has delivered more than 300 presentations to high school students. She has also facilitated parent education seminars and workshops on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and has participated in panel discussions to prepare students for the college experience. Additionally, she has done legislative work in Michigan that led to policy proposals and amendments to bills in the Michigan state legislature.

Nicole says she was attracted to JFF because it sits at the intersection of research and practice, and she wanted the opportunity to not only help students, but also improve systems.

Outside of work, Nicole attends Broadway shows and seeks out America’s tallest and fastest rollercoasters.