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As things move quickly in Washington, DC, NACUBO is your constant advocate in action. Here are the issues we are tracking and advocating for this week.  

Agency Action

Deadline Approaching for HEERF Form Comments
As previously reported by NACUBO, the Department of Education is currently collecting comments through September 28 on a proposed reporting form that will be used to gather information on institutional uses of several major CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) aid allotments. NACUBO is planning to submit comments on the proposed form.

Final Endowment Tax Regulations Adopt Reasonable Approach
The IRS and Department of the Treasury finalized rules governing the net investment income tax imposed on certain private colleges and universities. Many provisions in the final rules reflect the comments submitted by NACUBO and other stakeholders.

On the Hill

HELP Holds FAFSA Hearing
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on September 17 to discuss simplification of the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA simplification has been a longstanding priority for HELP Chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who is set to retire at the end of this year. Alexander had designated FAFSA simplification as a priority before his retirement, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed his plans considerably.


ACE Offers Election-Year Legal Guidance for Campus Administrators
Presidential election years often lead to many questions for campus administrators – namely, what campaign-related activities are allowed on campus? The American Council on Education (ACE) has prepared an issue brief that addresses institutions' obligations for political speech and voting activity on campus, and other matters related to student voting. The brief also discusses how institutions can legally address involvement in political campaign-related activities by campus administrators, faculty, and staff.

Judicial Action

Affirmative Action Policies Under Review Again
The use of race in college and university admissions decisions is once again under legal review, as a case challenging Harvard University’s admissions policy has moved to the appeal stage in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. The case appeals a federal court ruling that found Harvard did not intentionally discriminate against prospective Asian American students and will likely be the next opportunity for the U.S. Supreme Court to potentially review affirmative action policies in higher education.


Get Out the Vote on Your Campus!
Colleges and universities provide immense value beyond the classroom to their students, communities, and society. Research shows that college graduates are more likely to vote in elections, and regular voting is a habit you can help your students, staff, and community develop now. To that end, NACUBO has compiled a state-by-state resource with voting information for the upcoming November 2020 elections that can be easily shared with your campus community. Each state-specific one-pager details how, when, and where to vote in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Find your state's downloadable PDF on our Advocacy Tools and Resources page

Take Action

Don’t Miss the Next Legislative Lunchcast
Register now for NACUBO’s September 23 Legislative Lunchcast. This quarterly, 30-minute webinar is free for NACUBO members and will address the most pressing legislative, regulatory, and judicial issues affecting higher education. If you have a question that you would like to see addressed, please send it in advance to

Previous Edition

NACUBO On Your Side: September 9-14, 2020



Megan Schneider

Senior Director, Government Affairs


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