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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

Senate Holds Higher Ed Reopening Hearing
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held a June 4 hearing on the prospect of when and how to safely reopen college and university campuses across the country. NACUBO and other higher education associations weighed in with HELP leadership in advance of the hearing to stress the need for temporary liability protections for colleges and universities as they begin to reopen. Hearing witnesses included the presidents of Purdue University, Brown University and Lane College.

Agency Action

ED to Issue Final Rule on CARES Eligibility
The Department of Education is set to issue an interim final rule (effective the day it is published in the Federal Register) that would codify its position that students must be Title IV-eligible in order to receive emergency grants under the CARES Act. A federal judge in Washington state recently granted an injunction preventing ED from enforcing those provisions, though it only applies to that state.

IRS Offers Guidance on NOLs Under CARES
The IRS has added to its initial guidance on calculating net operating losses (NOL) following changes made by the CARES Act that suspend some of the NOL limitations enacted in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). The FAQ document addresses the interaction of NOL carrybacks and TCJA basketing requirements. 

Judicial Action

States, ACLU Sue ED Over Title IX
The Department of Education is facing a lawsuit from a number of parties over its new Title IX rule. Attorneys general from 17 states and the District of Columbia have jointly sued ED in D.C. federal court to prevent implementation of the new rules, while the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a similar suit in Maryland federal court, and the New York Attorney General has filed in a New York federal court. All three suits claim ED violated the Administrative Procedure Act with the rule and mention the immense difficulty schools now face in implementing the expansive changes required within ED’s 87-day implementation period, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Association Updates

AICPA Issues PPP Accounting Guidance
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has issued Technical Question and Answer (TQA) 3200.18, which provides guidance on how a nongovernmental entities, including private nonprofit colleges and universities, should account for a forgivable loan received under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The TQA reinforces the application of guidance in FASB Accounting Standards Update 2018-08, Clarifying the Scope and the Accounting Guidance for Contributions Received and Contributions Made.


Higher Ed Requests CARES Relief Expansions
NACUBO, in letters led by the American Council on Education, asked lawmakers and federal regulators for expansions of the Main Street Lending (MSL) Program and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as created by the CARES Act. A letter to Senate Banking Committee leadership asked that Congress require the Federal Reserve to expand the MSL Program to permit nonprofit eligibility and make all nonprofits eligible regardless of size. A request sent to the administrator of the Small Business Administration asked that schools not be required to count student workers for purposes of PPP eligibility.

NACUBO Asks for Unemployment Insurance Relief Fix
In a letter to Senate leadership, the higher education community asked Congress to correct the Department of Labor’s (DOL) implementation of emergency unemployment insurance (UI) relief to governmental entities and nonprofits in Section 2103 of the CARES Act. The DOL’s guidance requires that states bill self-insured nonprofits, including such colleges and universities, for the full amount of their COVID-19-related UI claims and then request reimbursement from their state UI trust funds for 50 percent of the amount paid. The letter, signed by 50 higher education associations, asks lawmakers to amend the CARES Act to state that federal funds “shall be used exclusively to reduce the amounts required to be paid in lieu of contributions into the State unemployment fund.”

Higher Education Calls for Student Broadband Support
NACUBO has joined EDUCAUSE and other higher education groups in asking congressional leadership to address immediate problems with student broadband access by strengthening the existing American research and education broadband networks, and by backing the Supporting Connectivity for Higher Education Students in Need Act, which NACUBO has endorsed.

Take Action

Stay Informed with NACUBO’s Coronavirus Resources
NACUBO’s COVID-19 resource page is filled with information and tools to help navigate the coronavirus crisis. The page is frequently updated and features checklists, analysis, federal guidance summaries, and more.

Previous Edition

What Did I Miss in Washington? May 19-June 1, 2020


Megan Schneider

Senior Director, Government Affairs


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