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As things move quickly in Washington, DC, NACUBO is your constant advocate in action. NACUBO On Your Side covers important legislative and agency activity NACUBO staff are tracking, what we’re currently advocating for, and how you can take action with us.

Here are the issues we are tracking and advocating for this week.

On the Hill

Congress Narrowly Avoids Government Shutdown
Lawmakers passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) just hours ahead of a potential federal government shutdown on September 30, the last day of the federal fiscal year. The CR will maintain government funding at FY21 levels until December 3, at which point Congress will need to finalize an FY22 federal budget or pass another CR. While the CR provides some financial relief for Afghan refugees and for communities recovering from major disasters like Hurricane Ida, it did not address the pressing need to raise the government’s debt ceiling by mid-October to prevent it from defaulting on various financial obligations.

Agency Action

Federal Government Announces Date for Contractor Vaccine Requirements
The federal government has released new guidance related to its recent vaccine requirements for federal contractors. Per the guidance, federal contractors will need employees in compliance by December 8 for current contracts and by the first date of the contract for all subsequent contracts. Colleges and universities should closely review their federal engagements to determine if any require compliance with this mandate.

Latest Cohort Default Rates Published by ED
Data released by the Department of Education show the percentage of students defaulting on their federal student loans within three years of entering repayment has decreased to 7.3 percent. While this overall cohort default rate (CDR) for FY18 is at an eight-year low, there is fluctuation between sectors. Private non-profit four-year institutions had a CDR of  percent, public four-year institutions reported 5.4 percent, and  community colleges reported a CDR of 11.4 percent, all decreases from FY17.

Rewrite of Student Loan Regulations Begins
A committee tasked with addressing affordability and student loan regulations began its work on October 4. The negotiated rulemaking effort includes representatives from the Department of Education and other stakeholders, who will meet for over the course of several months to debate potential regulatory changes. Topics this group will address include Pell Grant reform, student loan forgiveness and discharge programs, and loan repayment plans, among others. The committee meetings can be viewed online for those who register.

NLRB Memo Declares Student-Athletes Employees
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a memo indicating the agency’s position that student-athletes at private institutions are employees under the National Labor Relations Act. It warns institutions against “misclassifying such employees as mere student-athletes.” NACUBO is working to determine the employment and tax implications of this memo for institutions and students.

The memo was issued just one day before Congress held a hearing on the rights of student-athletes to be compensated for use of their name, image, and likeness. During the hearing, NCAA President Mark Emmert urged lawmakers to pass federal legislation on the issue to supersede a patchwork of laws in different states that create an “unequal” playing field for student-athletes.

ED Seeks Comments on 90/10 Rule
The Department of Education is seeking public comments on potential changes to 90/10 rule requirements of Title IV regulations, in advance of a full rulemaking effort. Comments on the rule, which requires proprietary institutions to derive at least 10 percent of revenues from sources that are not federal education assistance funds, can be submitted in writing by November 3 or at a public hearing on October 26 or 27. ED will release more information on rulemaking efforts after it reviews the comments. 

Take Action

Register for the Next Legislative Lunchcast
The next legislative lunchcast—a quarterly update from NACUBO’s policy team on the latest news from Washington, DC—is approaching. Registration is free for NACUBO members, who can submit questions in advance by emailing

Previous Edition

NACUBO On Your Side: September 21-27, 2021


Megan Schneider

Senior Director, Government Affairs


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