NACUBO On Your Side: March 7–20, 2023
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
Lawmakers Encourage ED to Expand Admissions Data Tracking
A bicameral group of lawmakers led by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), and Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) wrote to encourage the Department of Education to expand its collection of admissions data to “address long-standing racial and ethnic inequities in higher education access and attainment.” The letter comes in advance of an expected Supreme Court decision on whether colleges and universities may consider race as part of a holistic college application, a position NACUBO has consistently supported.
NACUBO to Participate in IPEDS Finance Survey Panel
NACUBO will participate in a Technical Review Panel March 21-22 to discuss suggestions for streamlining and improving the IPEDS Finance Survey. A major point of discussion will be the ongoing use an expert workgroup to examine the burden and feasibility of panel suggestions. NACUBO will recommend that its Accounting Principles Council and staff be involved in work efforts and will advocate for survey information that agrees with GAAP and guidance in NACUBO’s Financial Accounting and Reporting Manual.
Higher Education Community Offers Comments on Sec. 117 Information Collection Request
In a letter led by the American Council on Education, NACUBO and the higher education community provided a firm response to an information request from the Department of Education related to proposed changes to Section 117 foreign gifts and contracts reporting. Among numerous problem areas with ED’s Section 117 requirements, the letter asserts that the department is exceeding its statutory authority by expanding the definition of “institution” of higher education, failing to offer a clear definition of “intermediary” as it applies to gifts or payments, and abiding by a 2020 notice of interpretation that considers failure to report a Section-117-covered gift or contract as a violation of an institution’s program participation agreement.
NACUBO Responds to Proposal to Increase Fees for Foreign Students, Faculty, and Staff
NACUBO joined 22 other higher education associations in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security responding to DHS Docket No. USCIS 2021-0010, a proposed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rule that would drastically increase fees for international students, faculty, and staff. The letter, led by the American Council on Education, argues that the rule change would diminish America’s ability to attract foreign students and would add financial burden to institutions employing H-1B visa holders. It also would fail to address USCIS’ delays in processing applications.
Associations Guide ED in Bundled Services Exemption Changes
NACUBO joined 15 other associations in an ACE letter to ED regarding potential changes to the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on the incentive compensation prohibition and bundled services exception, which facilitates certain online offerings, including arrangements with online program managers. The letter recognizes the imperfection and importance of the DCL, which has enabled some bad actors while also allowing valuable and high-quality online programs to grow. The letter encourages ED to prioritize transparency, innovation, and good student outcomes as it considers potential changes.