NAICU Washington Update

Introduction by Barbara K. Mistick

April 01, 2022

Dear Colleague:

This week marked a significant milestone in our efforts to double the Pell Grant maximum. On Monday, President Biden released his budget for FY 2023, which allocates vital resources for higher education and our students. The highlight of the package is the president’s stated goal of doubling Pell by 2029.

As I wrote in my statement on Monday, this “is an important and historic commitment to the Pell Grant and the students and families who rely on these resources to access a higher education. While we would like to see this happen more quickly, the president’s proposals are steps in the right direction and we hope that Congress will move quickly to pass the budget.”

We could not have gotten this far without you lending your voice, engaging your students, and contacting your elected officials to ensure that doubling Pell became a priority in Washington. While we can, and should, take a moment to celebrate our progress, the work is not finished. Our efforts must remain focused on Capitol Hill as Congress begins its debates and negotiations on the president’s budget.

Please continue to write op-eds, host events, invite your students to add their voices to the #DoublePell campaign, and emphasize the strong national bipartisan support that exists for doubling Pell so we can keep our momentum into this next phase of our advocacy.

Our lead story in Washington Update provides detailed information on the specifics of the budget allocations related to higher education. 


  • SAVE THE DATE: NAICU is partnering with the Department of State to host a webinar on the future of international student exchange programs featuring officials from the Department of State. The webinar will be held on April 27 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT. Stay tuned for more details and registration information.
  • In other Ukraine developments, college and university presidents in New York have started an effort to award honorary degrees to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky (see Inside Higher Ed story). To date, 15 schools around the country have agreed to award honorary degrees to President Zelensky.
  • On Thursday, President Biden announced that he is planning to appoint 18 people to his board of advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). I am pleased to report that Dillard University President Walter M. Kimbrough and Beverly W. Hogan, former president of Tougaloo College, have been appointed to serve on the board. The board will advise the president on how to fund HBCUs and build bridges between the institutions and federal agencies.
  • I am also pleased to report that NAICU is back on the road! Earlier this week, I spoke to the board of the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities and attended their celebration of 50 years of both the Pell Grant and the state’s need-based scholarships. Also this week, Sarah Flanagan, NAICU’s vice president for government relations and policy development provided a Washington update to the Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania.

Double Pell

“As we move toward a post-pandemic economy, it’s time to send a strong reminder to Congress that economic rebound can be supported by increasing the maximum Pell Grant. #Double Pell – a national bipartisan movement to raise the per-person grant from its cap of $6,500 to $13,000 annually – would put a reasonably priced college education within reach of every American student and potentially eliminate their student debt.”

McPherson College President Michael Schneider, who also serves as chair of NAICU’s Student Aid Committee, in an op-ed he authored for his campus community

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