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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 the Hill

Multiple Hill Hearings Focus on Higher Education
While the prospects of a Higher Education Act reauthorization this year remain uncertain, lawmakers on Capitol Hill continue to hold hearings on priorities. The House and Senate committees responsible for higher education held separate hearings on the concept of risk sharing, or “skin in the game”—where schools would share responsibility for their student borrowers’ eventual loan repayment success—and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testified before the House Education and Labor Committee on April 10.

Agency Action

FTC Proposes New Requirements for Safeguards Rule
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has requested comments on a number of proposed new information security requirements that colleges and universities must follow in accordance with the Safeguards Rule of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. While the proposed requirements may have disparate impacts on institutions of different sizes and with different IT practices, the proposal contains a six-month deadline for compliance from the date of final regulations, which would likely be difficult for any institution to meet. EDUCAUSE is leading the higher education community’s efforts in responding to this proposal, and has a detailed accounting of proposed requirements available here.   

Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on Accreditation and Innovation Reaches Consensus
The group rewrote numerous federal regulations related to accreditation, Return of Title IV funds, TEACH Grants, distance learning, state authorization, and more.

ED Clarifies Policy on Prorating Course Materials That Result in Institutional Charges
The Department of Education recently published guidance explaining its policy on prorating books and course materials that will be used beyond a single academic term. 

Title IX Senate Hearing Adds to National Discussion
As lawmakers discuss a potential new way forward in the handling of campus sexual assault, the Department of Education faces ongoing litigation and its own complex rulemaking process as it attempts to redefine Title IX rules. 


Higher Ed Supports Latest Version of Dream Act
Legislation has again been introduced in the House of Representatives that would establish conditional permanent residency, restore the ability of states to grant in-state tuition on the basis of residency, establish eligibility for Title IV aid, and offer some additional protections to ”Dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children. The bill, the Dream and Promise Act of 2019, is similar to legislation introduced in previous sessions of Congress and imposes a number of conditions and criteria on potential applicants. The higher education community, in a letter to congressional leadership led by the American Council on Education, has expressed support for the bill.   

Report Findings

Report Examines Campus Debit Card Fees
U.S. PIRG recently issued a report highlighting fees associated with bank accounts marketed to college and university students. Debit Cards on Campus: Putting Students’ Financial Well-Being at Risk expands on a 2018 analysis from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

Take Action

Communications Prep for Community College Advocates
If you are a community college business officer and are planning to attend the American Association of Community Colleges’ Advocates in Action event, NACUBO invites you to let our advocacy team know. We would be happy to coordinate a pre-conference discussion that will help prepare you for your Capitol Hill visits. As business officers, you have a unique understanding of the complex issues facing your campuses. We can provide you with tools to communicate about these challenges where it matters most.


Previous Edition

What Did I Miss in Washington? March 19-April 1, 2019


Liz Clark

Vice President, Policy and Research


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