NAICU Washington Update

Introduction by Barbara K. Mistick

December 02, 2022

Dear Colleagues:

The elections are (mostly) behind us and Congress is now back in session focused on leadership issues and its lame duck priorities. As I wrote to you in my Action Alert earlier this week, one of our key priorities is ensuring the FY 2023 appropriations bill includes the proposed $500 increase to the Pell Grant maximum award and the proposed increases in the other major federal student and institutional aid programs.

I hope you will reach out to your Members of Congress by phone, meeting, or letter between now and December 10 (the stop-gap funding agreement expires on December 16), to reinforce the importance of finalizing these proposed increases. As a reminder, we created talking points and a sample letter that you can tailor and use in your advocacy efforts.

An important announcement was made this week by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regarding its enrollment platform for veteran students. Please make sure your GI Bill benefits coordinator or School Certifying Officer (SCO) for VA is aware of the upcoming changes to the enrollment platform. Our story below contains more information about this platform change and recommendations for administrators and SCOs.

NAICU’s 2023 Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day. Today is the final day to take advantage of our Early Bird Discount for registering for our annual meeting. Whether you are a first-time president, new to your campus, or a veteran higher education leader, there will be something for you at the meeting.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that Suzanne Stokes Vieth started this week as our new Director of State Relations and Outreach. Suzanne will be responsible for cultivating and managing our network of state executives, tracking emerging higher education issues at the state level, and organizing and coordinating coalitions within the NAICU membership. Prior to coming to NAICU, Suzanne served as the deputy director for government affairs at the Population Association of America/Association of Population Centers and, before that, as manager of congressional relations for the Association of Public Television Stations. We are excited to welcome Suzanne to the NAICU Team!


  • Webinar Reminder: NAICU is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, December 6, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST (Register), about the final rules issued by the Department of Education that resulted from earlier negotiated rulemaking sessions and the effects these rules will have on institutional risk. The webinar will include NAICU’s president, Barbara Mistick, and director of student and institutional aid, Emmanual Guillory, who was a key negotiator in the neg-reg committee meetings. 
  • The Biden Administration announced it has extended its student loan repayment pause, which was set to end on December 31, to June 30, 2023. Meanwhile, yesterday the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments about the legality of President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program. This extension of the loan repayment pause will allow time for the Supreme Court to resolve any outstanding litigation regarding the cancellation of student loan debt.
  • NAICU joined others in the higher education community in sending a letter to Capitol Hill pushing for consideration of the DREAM Act before Congress adjourns for the year. The DREAM Act would create a pathway to citizenship for the many individuals on our campuses and across the country who came to the U.S. as children, have lived here, attend our schools, serve in our military, and contribute to the economy. Many of these individuals are enrolled in the DACA program, but in lieu of congressional action, their immigration status remains in limbo. In addition, college presidents associated with the President’s Alliance for Higher Education and Immigration are holding a series of meetings with congressional offices and Biden Administration officials to push for lame duck consideration of the DREAM Act.
  • NAICU is one of ten higher education associations that launched the Paying for College Transparency Initiative earlier this week. The initiative is focused on providing students financial aid information that is clear, accurate, and transparent about the cost of college. More specifically, the effort aims to tackle those issues by improving the clarity, accuracy, and consistency of student financial aid offers by producing a set of guiding principles and minimal standards to be used when developing aid offers.
  • Several presidential organizations are supporting a national survey examining factors that influence presidents in voluntarily remaining in or exiting their positions. This study is being conducted by Dean Shelley Wepner and Dr. Nora Broege of Manhattanville College, and Dr. William Henk, dean emeritus at Marquette University. The research extends previous longevity studies that successfully focused on academic deans and provosts. The researchers will report the results when the work is complete, but should you have any questions in the interim, you may contact Dean Wepner at

Double Pell

“We need long-term solutions to the systemic affordability challenges facing today's students — solutions like doubling the Pell Grant, increasing state investment in public colleges, and prioritizing need-based financial aid.”

Mamie Voight, president and CEO of the Institute for Higher Education Policy

“The best lever that we have available to pull to increase college affordability that would be to double the Pell Grant.”

Phillip Levine, economics professor at Wellesley University

These quotes were included in a Business Insider story published last week.


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