NAICU Washington Update

Introduction by Barbara K. Mistick

January 14, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

On Monday, the nation will remember and honor the life and work of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. I hope you will find time this weekend to safely celebrate and mark this day of service with your campus community. Dr. King’s memory continues to serve as an example in how to lead, inspire, and make change.

The major headlines from Washington this week revolved around a contentious hearing with Dr. Anthony Fauci before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that reviewed the next steps in fighting the coronavirus, the continued trickling out of news from the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, the negotiations over breaking the filibuster rules to pass voting rights legislation, and the Supreme Court ruling on the president’s vaccine and testing plan for large employers. But behind the scenes, work is being done on finalizing the FY 2022 appropriations bills.

Congress needs to come to an agreement on the funding balance between defense and non-defense spending, and on policy riders so that it can complete the process before February 18, when the current continuing resolution expires. The recent revival of congressionally mandated spending (“earmarks”) could be the impetus for reaching a bipartisan agreement.

Both the House and Senate draft appropriations bills for education include a $400 increase in the Pell Grant maximum, and significant increases for the other student aid programs. We continue to urge Congress to maintain these levels of funding, while also finding a way to resurrect the $550 increase in the Pell Grant from the Build Back Better Act.

Once Congress finalizes FY 2022 spending, conversations on Build Back Better may resume.

In addition to a piece on yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling, this week’s Washington Update includes stories on the naming of the negotiators, including Emmanual Guillory, NAICU’s director of student and institutional aid policy, to the upcoming negotiated rulemaking committee on institutional accountability, and news that the State Department has proposed an increase in certain visa fees.


  • The Department of Education unveiled its reporting form for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) funds used during 2021. Data collection will occur between April 11 and May 6, 2022. During this period, the portal will be open for corrections to CARES Act Year 1 reports. The annual reporting requirements are in addition to requirements to publish quarterly reports on the use of student and institutional portion funding.
  • The National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), which supports foundational research, innovation, and education in all areas of computer and information science and engineering, has multiple funding opportunities targeted to non-research-intensive universities. CISE stewards an annual research budget of about $1 billion, and provides about 87% of the federal funding for fundamental computer science research at U.S. academic institutions. Faculty and leadership in computing-related departments are encouraged to sign up for the newsletter to find out more about these funding opportunities. The CISE webpage has additional information about its funding programs and research activities.

Double Pell

“Seven million students across the country rely on Pell Grants to pay for college, including 40% of students at Loyola. About 90% of those students come from families that earn less than $50,000 a year. Making a significant increase in Pell Grants is both long overdue and critical, as our economy falters and readjusts from the pandemic.”

Loyola University New Orleans President Tania Tetlow in an op-ed published in The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA).

2022 Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day

As the 2022 policy agenda and the priorities of the Biden Administration come into more focus, there is much at stake for our students and institutions in the months ahead. We have lots to learn and understand in order to be the best advocates we can be for our students and sector. I hope you will register and join your colleagues in Washington, DC to hear Members of Congress, policymakers, legislative experts, communications professionals, and other leading national voices discuss the policy and regulatory issues that will impact and shape higher education.

I look forward to seeing you at our 2022 Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day, February 6-9 in Washington, DC.

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

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