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Updated 4/2/2020 

NACUBO is your advocate in action and, together with other national higher education associations, is working diligently to ensure students and institutions of higher education are considered in federal coronavirus relief efforts. For additional information, contact the staff listed on this page or email advocacy@nacubo.org.

Currently, higher education relief efforts are built around various types of assistance, some of which can be provided directly through federal agencies, and some that require congressional action.

Congress passed its third and most comprehensive coronavirus relief package on Friday, March 27, 2020. The legislation includes numerous provisions for higher education institutions and students. NACUBO subject-matter experts have combed nearly 900 pages of legislation and written about what stimulus means for three key areas:

Join NACUBO experts to learn more about what the coronavirus stimulus package means for higher education on our regular Telephone Town Hall updates. Find recordings and learn more here.

Advocacy efforts will continue as congress pursues further action to respond to the impact of COVID-19.

NACUBO Actions to Date

NACUBO has been particularly focused on issues that impact the business office and has taken the following actions:

Stimulus Relief

  • NACUBO President and CEO Susan Whealler Johnston sent a letter to congressional leaders on March 22, 2020, expressing "full and strong support for provisions directing assistance to college students and higher education institutions in the coronavirus stimulus bill."

Tax

  • NACUBO sent a letter on March 20, 2020, to the IRS and the Department of the Treasury asking them for a tax-filing and -payment extension, particularly in light of the absence of federal guidance on new requirements under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) requirements, and also to relieve visiting scholars and students who are currently unable to travel back to their home countries and could incidentally be considered tax residents in the United States due to the substantial presence test. 
  • NACUBO sent a letter on March 19, 2020, to the congressional tax-writing committees asking them to extend the payroll tax credits in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to public college and university employers, who are currently excluded by the bill.  
  • NACUBO also has endorsed a number of other higher education and/or nonprofit sector requests:

Loans and Access to Capital

  • Colleges and universities can use this one-pager to support requests related to tax-exempt borrowing.
  • In response to the very recent increase in borrowing costs, NACUBO supports legislative language introduced by Senators Menendez of New Jersey and Perdue of Georgia that would authorize and encourage the Federal Reserve to purchase investment-grade municipal bonds of all types.

Post 9/11 GI Bill

  • NACUBO endorsed the American Council on Education's request to ensure that veterans can continue to receive their full GI Bill benefits in situations where campuses are forced to move courses online due to COVID-19.
    • Congress passed S. 3503 on March 19, 2020, enacting such protections; and President Donald Trump has signed the legislation. 

Department of Education

  • NACUBO signed an American Council on Education letter requesting that the department delay actions on Title IX and Section 117 regulations until the disruptions presented by COVID-19 have passed.
  • NACUBO signed an American Council on Education letter regarding the implementation of stimulus provided in the CARES Act. The letter asserts that additional stimulus is needed, and that funds should be made available as quickly as possible.

FASB/GASB

  • NACUBO is asking FASB and GASB to consider delaying implementation of their respective lease standards (FASB Topic 842, GASB 87). 

Additional Requests

NACUBO is also working with institutions and associations to advocate for:

  • Temporarily suspending the taxability of scholarship and grant aid
  • Temporarily suspending adjusted gross income limits on charitable giving
  • Enhancing the benefits of the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit
  • Repeal of the private institution investment income excise tax
  • Suspension of the so-called “basketing” unrelated business income tax rules

Take Action

  • Collect and communicate your COVID-19 related costs and forgone revenue. Your institution must be able to demonstrate the impact this pandemic is having on your campus. The business office is instrumental in your college or university's efforts to seek relief.
  • Consider which types of assistance listed above make the most sense as priorities for your institution based on your circumstances.
  • Coordinate with your campus government relations team and president or chancellor.
  • Be prepared to prioritize your top requests and have talking points that explain why these issues matter to your college or university. Many of your campus colleagues may be unfamiliar with certain business office matters (e.g., advance refunding, UBIT basketing) and every unit on your campus likely also has federal relief priorities and suggestions.
  • Stay in touch with NACUBO. Please email advocacy@nacubo.org or reach out to the contacts listed on this page with any information you can share about the impact on your campus. Please do not hesitate to disclose your regulatory pain points or suggestions for relief.

Tools

Contact

Liz Clark

Vice President, Policy and Research

202.861.2553

Contact

Megan Schneider

Senior Director, Government Affairs

202.861.2547

Contact

Mary Bachinger

Director, Tax Policy

202.861.2581

Contact

Bryan Dickson

Director, Student Financial Services and Educational Programs

202.861.2505

Contact

Neil Gavigan

Policy and Advocacy Manager

202.861.2551


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