NAICU Washington Update

Introduction by Barbara K. Mistick

April 07, 2022

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing you from Chicago where we have just concluded our spring Board of Directors and Committee meetings. It is the first time these committees have met in-person since 2019, and it was wonderful to see everyone and to be able to have face-to-face conversations about the many public policy challenges facing our sector.

NAICU has seven committees that report to the Board. Four of the committees focus on public policy issues, and are composed of board members as well as selected members: the Committees on Accountability, Student Aid, Policy Analysis and Public Relations, and Tax Policy.

The Executive, Administration, and Audit Committees are operational committees, dealing with internal NAICU policies and procedures.

This week has been another busy one in Washington. On Tuesday, you should have received my Presidents’ Network email regarding the bi-partisan deal in Congress to fund continued assistance for vaccines and other public supports by clawing back some unused HEERF funds. 

To reiterate, it is our understanding from conversations we have had with those directly involved in the process that the $500 million from HEERF will not affect any HEERF funds you have been allocated, even if you have not yet drawn down those funds. The $500 million rescission is also not intended to affect the $198 million Supplemental Support under American Rescue Plan (SSARP) funds, also referred to as “(a)(3),” announced in February as targeted for institutions that did not otherwise receive funds from various HEERF student and institutional allocations, but should have.

However, the bill to provide additional pandemic relief has now hit a snag over debates on border issues and is currently in limbo.


  • 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. (Register Here)
  • The Biden Administration has announced that it will extend the pause on student loan payments to August 31. This extension, which was set to end on May 1, will impact over 40 million borrowers and comes after additional calls from congressional leaders to extend the pause. In making the announcement, the Department also said it will erase the defaults of all borrowers currently covered by the pause, giving them a fresh start on repayments. Details on how this will work are expected in the coming weeks. It is likely that the Administration will continue to be pressured to extend the pause even further given the current political pressures for student debt relief.
  • On April 4, the federal government transitioned from the long standing DUNS number that institutions have used for years to access federal aid to the new Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) system. Despite an effort by the Department of Education to notify institutions about the transition, a handful of NAICU members had yet to receive a UEI by the deadline. NAICU notified each of those members prior to the deadline of their status. If you are one of these institutions and you have not successfully transitioned to the UEI or have questions, you should contact LaShae Jones at the Department at

Double Pell


Over the course of their career, a Pell Grant student who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2019 will create an estimated $5.4 million in economic impact, support 30 jobs and generate tax revenue totaling $654,489.

Student voices are critically important when advocating for higher education policy. Representatives from the Department of Education and Members of Congress regularly speak about the emotion and real-world experience these student perspectives bring to the national debates and dialogue on issues affecting higher education.

Our national #DoublePell campaign has already resulted in nearly 20,000 letters to lawmakers (take action) and over 100 students submitting stories (Pell voices) about the importance the Pell Grant has played in their lives and the impact doubling the grant would have on them and future students.

Building on this work, on April 26, from 1:00-2:15pm EDT the #DoublePell Alliance will hold a free webinar titled, “Join the Movement: How Student Advocacy Can Help Make #DoublePell Happen (register).” This event is intended for student advocates and student organizers on campus to learn how to ensure Congress hears why increasing the Pell Grant is so important to making college affordable.

The event will feature Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI), Tom Schnurr, director of government affairs at the Commission on Independent Colleges & Universities in New York, other advocacy experts, and current students as they explain how to get involved in #DoublePell advocacy efforts while emphasizing the importance of the Pell Grant in making college dreams a reality. I hope you will pass this information along to your students.

Congress is headed home for a two-week Easter break. This is an excellent time to reach out to your elected officials, have them to campus and discuss the many public policy issues before us. And when they are there, don’t forget to encourage them to support our Double Pell efforts by reminding them of the payback an investment in Pell will have for our students, our nation and our college towns. Use our Take Action page to find tools and resources specific to private, nonprofit colleges and universities.

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