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.
ED Unveils Future Rulemaking Plans
The Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education has shared a list of 14 topics selected for future negotiated rulemaking efforts, including Pell Grant eligibility for prison education programs, financial responsibility requirements for institutions, and potential changes to multiple student loan and loan forgiveness programs. In advance of the formation of rulemaking committees, ED will host a series of virtual public hearings on June 21, 23, and 24 to receive input on these and other potential issues for future rulemaking sessions. To submit comments (limited to 3-5 minutes) send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch the public hearings by registering here.
ED Provides Implementation Guidance for New Clock-to-Credit Conversion Regulations
On September 2, 2020, the Department of Education published a final rule amending various institutional and program eligibility regulations, including removing the consideration of out-of-class hours for purposes of clock-to-credit conversion. The regulations take effect July 1, though schools may implement the changes early. ED’s recent Electronic Announcement provides clarifying information for institutions.
ACHA Issues Fall Reopening Guidance
The American College Health Association (ACHA) has released new guidance to assist colleges and universities with best practices for safely reopening physical campuses for the upcoming fall semester. The guidance highlights that schools likely will need to make distinctions between vaccinated and unvaccinated students in terms of what is permissible for public gatherings and spaces, be vigilant for the potential emergence of variant strains of SARS CoV-2 on campus, and employ continual monitoring of the vaccination level of the campus and surrounding community. ACHA also advises that schools that choose not to require vaccines for individuals on campus will constantly need to “remain at heightened alert.”
NACUBO Endorses Tuition Assistance Legislation
NACUBO has endorsed a piece of bipartisan legislation, the Upskilling and Retraining Assistance Act, introduced by Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Todd Young (R-IN), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), and Tim Scott (R-SC). The bill would amend Section 127 of the tax code to increase the amount of tax-free educational assistance that employers can offer to employees, from $5,250 to $12,000 annually for two years. The bill also would expand eligible educational expenses to include necessary tools and technology. More information on the bill is available here.
NACUBO On Your Side: May 18-24, 2021