NAICU Washington Update

Introduction by Barbara K. Mistick

May 20, 2022

Dear Colleague:

The Department of Education has invited NAICU and several other higher education associations to a listening session on June 13 to provide feedback on a series of questions related to the Department’s regulations governing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the federal law that prohibits disability discrimination in federally funded education programs or activities (see our story in today’s Washington Update for more details). This effort is part of the agency’s plan to amend the existing rules.

In order to most effectively communicate the private, nonprofit sector’s views during the listening session, NAICU is requesting feedback regarding your perspective on potential changes to the section 504 regulations. Please direct your comments to Jody Feder, NAICU’s director of accountability and regulatory affairs, at

I’d like to remind you that we have created a survey to gain a better understanding of how the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) reset of the 35 percent waiver and 85/15 rules will impact colleges and universities and veteran students (see my Alert for more details). These regulatory changes have the potential to have serious repercussions for all private, nonprofit institutions that serve veterans.

We have been working with the VA and the House and Senate Committees on Veteran's Affairs to try and fix the new interpretation, but we need more campus-based information to be successful. This is where your feedback is needed and will help us provide valuable information to lawmakers and the VA. I am requesting that all NAICU member schools take the time to complete the survey by Monday, May 23 at 5:00 p.m. EDT, even if it is to simply tell us you have no veterans using benefits on your campus.

Finally, the noise continues to increase around the possibility that President Biden will provide some student loan forgiveness. Stay tuned as this issue unfolds in what will surely be front-page news if and when an announcement comes.


  • The Department of Education announced that it is extending the waiver of certain verification requirements that institutions are required to perform on student aid recipients for 2022-2023. Last year, the Department chose to waive certain verification requirements due to the pandemic. However, students were still required to verify their identity, statement of educational purpose, and high school completion status. The verification demands put on student aid recipients has long been controversial, both because of institutional burden and because of the affect it can have on eligibility for students who have trouble accessing additional documentation. The Department also indicated that it is using the lessons learned from the pandemic relief waivers to inform possible longer term changes to the verification process. 
  • The Department of Education released guidance clarifying the ways in which colleges and universities may use the institutional portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to support the mental health and substance abuse disorder needs of students, faculty, and staff as they recover from the pandemic. The guidance provides resources and examples of how colleges and universities can use their COVID relief funds to improve mental health on their campuses.
  • The Department of Education is accepting applications for the Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) program. CCAMPIS supports 4-year grants to institutions of higher education to increase the participation of low-income parents in postsecondary education through the provision of campus-based child care services. Funds are used to support or establish campus-based child care programs primarily serving the needs of low-income students enrolled in such institutions. Due to the statutory change in the FY22 Omnibus that passed earlier this year, there is no longer a 1% cap on maximum awards meaning the new minimum award is set at $90,000 and a new maximum is 3% of Pell award funding, which can be as large as $600,000.
  • On May 24, the Department of Education and the Federal Communications Commission will host a webinar that will focus on student eligibility for the Affordable Connectivity Program and other practices to improve student’s access to broadband and other technology. Space is limited, but interested parties should register.
  • The Department of Labor (DOL) is holding its final public regional listening sessions for employers in the southwest and west regions. If you are concerned about upcoming adjustments to the overtime pay threshold expected this fall, please consider participating in one of these two remaining sessions. DOL is also hosting parallel public regional listening sessions for workers and worker advocates. Please email with any questions about the sessions. If you need assistance preparing remarks, or want to let us know that you’ll be participating, please contact Karin Johns, NAICU’s director of tax policy, at

Double Pell

By the Numbers

$26,000,000,000: More than $26 billion was awarded to Pell Grant recipients in 2020-2021

80,000,000: More than 80 million students have received a Pell Grant

87%: Percentage of Americans who support the Pell Grant program

75%: Percentage of Americans who support doubling the Pell Grant award

50: Next month will mark the 50th anniversary of the Pell Grant program


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

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