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The steady stream of news emerging from the nation’s capital can be overwhelming. NACUBO highlights key actions and provides the status of top higher education business concerns.

On Capitol Hill

New Spending Bill Increases Education, Research Funding. Under the new spending package, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump on September 28, the maximum Pell Grant award increased by $100, to $6,195. Several other higher education programs received funding increases, and the National Institutes of Health received a funding boost of $2 billion.

Agency Action

Implementing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: NACUBO Summarizes of Recent IRS Guidance. While substantive regulatory guidance on most tax reform provisions affecting colleges and universities has yet to be published by the U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS, a few issues have been addressed and published for community response.

ED Provides More Details on Mobile App. In August, the Department of Education announced the availability of the myStudentAid app, which includes a myFAFSA function. To assist financial aid administrators, mentors, and counselors with the 2018-19 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), ED has shared a PowerPoint presentation containing information on using the app. 

ED Warns of Email Scam Targeting Financial Aid and Refunds. Multiple higher education institutions have been targeted by an email scam that could result in fraud regarding student refunds and financial aid distributions, ED’s Office of Federal Student Aid has reported. Attackers are using a phishing email to obtain access to student accounts via online student portals, where they can change students’ credit balance refund destinations. The announcement includes steps institutions can take to protect against attacks, as well as reporting instructions for institutions that have been targeted. 

IRS Releases Draft From 4720 for Excise Taxes on Endowments, Executive Comp. The IRS has released the draft of revised Form 4720 and its instructions, which colleges and universities will use to calculate and pay excise taxes on executive compensation and endowment investment income.


NACUBO Issues Guidance on Overpayments from International Students. Addressing concerns from members, NACUBO has prepared a document that addresses various concerns related to overpayments from international students, including potential legal risks, as well as international overpayments processed by third-party companies.  

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have partnered once again to promote National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October. As part of the month’s activities, NCSA, Internet2, Duo Security and EDUCAUSE are leading a higher education-specific campaign that focuses on cybersecurity on college campuses nationwide, with an emphasis on encouraging institutions to adopt multi-factor authentication across their campus communities. ED issued similar advice on the importance of multi-factor authentication in August, following the discovery of several active phishing campaigns targeting student email accounts.

Previous Edition

What Did I Miss in Washington? September 6-September 17, 2018


Liz Clark

Vice President, Policy and Research


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