The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) serves as the unified national voice of private nonprofit higher education. Since 1976, the association has represented this subset of American colleges and universities on policy issues with the federal government, such as those affecting student aid, taxation, and government regulation. Today, through new communication technologies, an improved governance structure, and increased member participation, NAICU has become an even more effective and respected participant in the political process.
The NAICU staff meets with policymakers, tracks campus trends, conducts research, analyzes higher education issues, publishes information, helps coordinate state-level activities, and advises members of legislative and regulatory developments with potential impact on their institutions.
In addition, NAICU has spearheaded several major public initiatives, such as the University & College Accountability Network (U-CAN), offering prospective students and their families concise and comparable information on private nonprofit nonprofit colleges and universities; the Student Aid Alliance, an ambitious effort to enhance funding for existing student aid programs; and the nonpartisan National Campus Voter Registration Project that, in every federal election, helps all colleges and universities to conduct both voter education, registration, and participation programs.
With more than 1,000 members nationwide, NAICU reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the United States. Members include traditional liberal arts colleges, major research universities, church- and faith-related institutions, historically black colleges and universities, women's colleges, performing and visual arts institutions, two-year colleges, and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business, and other professions. NAICU is committed to celebrating and protecting this diversity of the nation's private colleges and universities.
State associations that are members of the National Association of Independent College and University State Executives (NAICUSE) also are members of NAICU, as are many special-purpose or regional independent college and university associations (Secretariat). Also, the Legal Services Review Panel evaluates legal issues affecting private nonprofit colleges and universities, and advises members on the implications of precedent-setting litigation.
NAICU participates in a protocol of agreement with the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to enhance the cooperation, partnership, and collaboration across the two organizations to better serve private nonprofit higher education.