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
Pressures Mount as Congress Delays Government Shutdown
Congress has once again narrowly avoided a federal government shutdown with passage of a short-term continuing resolution (CR). This second CR maintains federal government funding at FY21 levels until February 18, 2022, at which point Congress will need to finalize an FY22 federal budget or pass another CR. Although a shutdown has been temporarily averted, there are numerous items that Congress still needs or wants to address before the end of 2021.
While the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is now law, Congressional Democrats remain eager to pass a version of their Build Back Better infrastructure package, which contains numerous funding and tax provisions for higher education. Congress must again take action to raise the nation’s borrowing limit, or risk breaching it, despite passing a similar short-term measure earlier this year. Additionally, Congress needs to finalize and pass the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes the nation’s defense activities and provides critical funding to a number of agencies. It has been delayed this fall by infrastructure, debt ceiling, and budget discussions.
ED Updates StudentAid.gov Website
On November 23, the Department of Education (ED) announced changes to several features on the StudentAid.gov website and mobile app. Aidan—ED’s virtual assistant—has been updated to answer more questions about federal student aid, and the Public Services Loan Forgiveness Help Tool now provides guidance on the limited waiver opportunities shared in October. Additionally, the Loan Simulator will provide specific repayment details when users enter a monthly payment amount higher than the required amount.
ED Reminds Schools of Title IV Requirements for the Business Office
The Office of Federal Student Aid recently posted a reminder about the various Title IV requirements business officers and financial aid administrators must adhere to. Topics covered include: disbursement reporting requirements; excess cash requirements; and reconciliation, including final reconciliation.
NACUBO, Associations Comment on Proposed DACA Rule
NACUBO joined with over 40 other higher education groups to submit comments in response to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) proposed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) regulations. While the comments raised some areas of concern related to date of arrival and age thresholds in the proposed rule, as well as proposed changes to employment authorization, they also praised DHS for taking steps to strengthen and protect the program.
December Legislative Lunchcast
NACUBO's 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 email@example.com. An audio recording of the session will also be made available as NACUBO In Brief podcast.
NACUBO On Your Side, November 16–22, 2021