NAICU Washington Update

Introduction by Barbara K. Mistick

April 29, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

The problems with the new rules on 85/15 reporting on GI Bill benefits at colleges continue to mount this week. We have been notified that additional NAICU members have received letters from the Department of Veterans Affairs notifying them that some of their educational programs have been suspended from eligibility for veteran enrollment, which will cause havoc for student veterans. If your institution has received such a letter, please notify Stephanie Giesecke, NAICU’s senior director of budget and appropriations at

NAICU is planning a major advocacy push to raise awareness about these issues and the impact they will have on student veterans if these rules are implemented. In the coming weeks, we will provide details on how you can participate in these advocacy efforts.

In the meantime, the VA held its Education Service Office Hours this week to explain the new rules to campuses. However, feedback suggests the sessions may have raised more questions than they answered. 

You can read more about the VA’s Office Hours, as well as find out about updates to Second Chance Pell and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona’s testimony in the House of Representatives making the case for President Biden’s FY 2023 budget in today’s Washington Update.

  • FY 2023 Appropriations. Congress is starting to gather input on the appropriations process for FY 2023. In addition to the Student Aid Alliance letter I co-signed for our coalition last week, NAICU sent its own appropriations request letter to House and Senate lawmakers this week. NAICU’s letter reinforced our support for doubling the Pell Grant maximum and for providing increases to the federal student aid programs, the Strengthening Institutions Program, HBCUs, and MSIs.

On Capitol Hill, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education about the president’s FY 2023 budget request and called on Congress to build on the FY 2022 $400 Pell Grant increase and to double the maximum grant by 2029.

  • Student Loans. The Biden Administration announced more loan cancellations this week, this time for 28,000 borrowers who attended Marinello Schools of Beauty. The schools were closed in 2016 after the Obama Administration shut off their access to federal student aid for a series of violations, including false advertising and creating false high school diplomas to make students eligible for federal student aid. President Biden also acknowledged that he is considering some universal student loan debt forgiveness but emphatically ruled out the $50,000 in debt forgiveness long pushed by progressives.
  • Title IX Timing. The Department of Education announced that its proposed revisions to the Title IX rules will be released in May, not this month as previously indicated. The rumored timeframe is the end of May, and the rules are likely to address transgender issues.
  • TRIO Grants: The Department of Education has announced its grant availability for new applicants for the Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs. The program is designed to help TRIO program staff improve their skills. Funds may be used for conferences, seminars, internships, workshops, or the publication of manuals. The application is due on June 10, 2022.

Applications are also available for the Veterans Upward Bound Program (VUB). Part of the TRIO Programs, VUB supports projects designed to prepare, motivate, and assist military veterans in the development of academic and other skills necessary for acceptance into and success in a program of postsecondary education. The Department estimates making 60 awards between $287,537 and $460,000. Applications are due June 10, 2022.

  • State Dept. Webinar: This week, we were joined by the State Department’s Educational and Cultural Affairs office in hosting a webinar (recording and presentation slides) on U.S. Study Abroad programs and institutional resources. A special thanks to Courtney E. Williams, Ed.D., Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Engagement & Leadership, Dillard University (LA) for highlighting their IDEAS study abroad program.

Double Pell

“This (doubling the Pell Grant) would be an important step toward having Pell Grants cover as much for today’s students as they did a generation or two ago. Without increased support, poorer students will continue to lag their wealthier peers in achieving the American dream of a college education.”

Donald E. Heller, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, University of San Francisco (CA) in an opinion piece published on The Conversation website.



Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.
President, NAICU

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