Value of NAICU Membership

Without question, higher education is essential to the economic and social viability of our nation.  NAICU works to ensure that federal policy supports, and does not undermine, the diversity of our system of post-secondary education.  

NAICU is the only national organization solely focused on representing private, nonprofit colleges and universities on public policy issues in Washington, D.C. For 40 years, NAICU has provided its membership with significant policy expertise and issue advocacy, robust research and data, and valuable direct member benefits.
Credit: Mount Mary University (WI)

While the economy is showing signs of improvement, we know that the budgets of colleges and universities are stretched to their limits.  In this environment, economic decisions must be made with great care, and items such as institutional memberships must result in a positive return on investment.  


NAICU is heavily committed to ensuring that federal funding remain student-centered. The value of federal higher education tax benefits and student aid is now $160 billion annually.  The importance of these funds to our students, their families, our nation, and our institutions is clear.  Every day, NAICU works with lawmakers from both parties to preserve and protect these programs.  

NAICU's policy mission has three parts:
  • Ensuring student aid programs provide all Americans with access to the college of their choice;
  • Promoting tax policy that encourages families to save and pay for college, while also helping private, nonprofit colleges fulfill their distinctive missions; and 
  • Seeking appropriate regulation of private, nonprofit colleges that is both sensitive to their diversity and independence, while also addressing society's needs.
In the areas of its policy mission, NAICU and its members have:
  • ​Successfully fought to increase student aid and protect the core student aid programs. Most recently, NAICU's efforts have paid off in the form of an increase in the Pell Grant maximum to $5,845; the roll-back of proposed cuts in SEOG and Federal Work Study; and increased funding for TRIO and GEAR-UP programs. 
  • Advocated for extensions of key tax priorities.  NAICU and its members achieved significant victories in 2015, when both the Charitable IRA Rollover and the American Opportunity Tax Credit were made permanent.  Another important feature of the 2015 legislation was the simplification of tuition benefits by the phasing out of the above-the-line tuition deduction (which will expire at the end of 2016).
  • Defended institutional integrity and autonomy, and fought governmental overreach and
    inappropriate regulation, through NAICU's engagement with all three branches of government.  Recent activities include: advancing sound consumer information tools,
    such as UCAN, as an alternative to a more rigid rating system initially envisioned by the White House; educating Congress on the complexities of the operations and finances of private, nonprofit colleges; and joining in legal briefs filed in the federal court system to ensure the perspective of the private, nonprofit sector is heard.


In addition to the focus on its policy mission, NAICU also provides many direct benefits to members, including:
  • Identifying and alerting members to new legislation and federal regulatory requirements that could impact their campuses.
  • Expert analysis on higher education policy developments through NAICU's Washington Update e-newsletter.
  • Mobilizing members to speak out directly to their congressional delegations regarding legislative or regulatory initiatives that could impact their campuses.
  • Serving as a resource for in-depth information and research on higher education issues.
  • Assisting members in making the case for private, nonprofit higher education through talking points, data, research, and other tools and resources.
  • Access to specialized, timely, and targeted communications to member presidents, as well as key campus offices such as Institutional Research, Government Relations, and Communications/Public Relations.
  • Access to up-to-the-minute higher education news through the daily NAICU Headline News Service.
For more information on joining NAICU, contact Deborah Reilly, Director of Member Relations and Conference Planning, at (202) 785-8866 or