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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.

Advocacy

Navigate New Financial Responsibility Regulations With New NACUBO Resource. NACUBO’s latest advisory report suggests establishing campus protocols to monitor triggering conditions that could lead to a recalculation of a composite score under Title IV financial responsibility requirements. Business officers at private colleges should become familiar with how the new Department of Education borrower defense rules could impact their institution’s score—and possibility threaten certification and require surety.

NACUBO Updates Perkins Advisory Guidance With Financial Reporting Information. Since the Perkins Loan Program expired in 2017, NACUBO created an advisory report with close-out guidance. After a recent update, it now also addresses FASB and GASB accounting and financial reporting issues.

Agency Action

ED Issues Proposed Title IX Changes. ED has released its proposed regulations for campus sexual assault investigations, which contain a number of significant changes for both students and institutions. Different institutional obligations to investigate reports of misconduct, new evidentiary standards, and live hearings for incident resolution are some of the most notable shifts in the Department of Education’s proposed rules.

On Capitol Hill

Congress Demands Answers on Late GI Bill Payments. VA officials were recently called to testify before Congress about Forever GI Bill benefit payment delays, as many student veterans and institutions are still dealing with significantly late payments for the fall semester. While VA representatives blamed the delays on a new housing benefit policy and outdated IT, they also announced mitigation steps to address the problem for the spring semester.

Senate Education Leaders Introduce Bipartisan FAFSA Bill. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) have introduced the FAFSA Act, designed to simplify the federal student aid application. The bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow the IRS to share taxpayer data, including tax return information, with the Education Department to aid in “determining eligibility for, and amount of, Federal student financial aid.” Lawmakers have expressed a desire to pass this bill before the new Congress begins in January 2019.

Grassley to Chair Senate Finance Committee. In a move with implications for multiple committee leadership positions, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has agreed to lead the Senate Committee on Finance during the 116th Congress. This will be Grassley’s third time at the helm of the committee, and he has two more years of eligibility. Grassley has long been a vocal skeptic of large college and university endowments and tax-exempt financing tools. In 2008, he co-led an inquiry into endowment spending practices at 136 colleges and universities but backed off during the Great Recession. Had it reached Grassley’s intended conclusion, the inquiry may have set mandatory minimum spending requirements for college and university endowments.

Take Action

Get to Know Your Members of Congress. With the midterms behind us and swearing-in day less than two months away, now is the time to establish a relationship with your members of Congress. It is especially important to reach out to newly elected members who likely lack a nuanced understanding of higher education. NACUBO has resources to help you start the conversation, like talking points and examples of well-executed on-campus advocacy. If you’re unsure of who represents your district, use the House and Senate search functions to identify your members of Congress.

Previous Edition

What Did I Miss in Washington? October 30-November 13, 2018

Contact

Liz Clark

Senior Director, Federal Affairs

202.861.2553

lclark@nacubo.org


Related Content

VA Addresses Housing Payment Rates and Delays

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced it is “resetting” its efforts to implement changes required under the Forever GI Bill and will pay monthly housing allowances for the current academic year based on the location of a school’s main campus.

Could the New Fringe Benefit Tax Be Repealed This Year?

Lawmakers have pushed the next federal government funding deadline to December 21. In the meantime, they are trying to negotiate a number of controversial issues—President Donald Trump wants a budget agreement that includes funding for a border wall, and tax writers are seeking agreement on a long list of tax provisions.

What Did I Miss in Washington? November 28-December 10, 2018

ED publishes proposed Title IX rules, a tool is available to show support for Section 127 expansion, and more.