NAICU Washington Update

Introduction by Barbara K. Mistick

May 19, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday, I sent many of you an urgent alert because your institution is included on a list of colleges and universities the Department of Education has identified as not having submitted its Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Annual Performance Report. If you did not receive this alert, your reporting should be up to date.

This is a reminder that today is the last day for those institutions to complete and submit these reports, which cover activity funded between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021.

If you fail to submit your annual report by midnight Eastern tonight, you will lose access to HEERF grant funds as a result of noncompliance with reporting requirements specified in the HEERF Certification and Agreement. The Department has told us it is unable to grant or support extension requests for annual reporting. Additional details, as well as the Department’s FAQs and resources, can be found in the link above.

In other news this week, NAICU sent a letter to key lawmakers on Capitol Hill expressing our long-standing concerns with the College Transparency Act (CTA), a bill that would establish a federal student unit record data system. NAICU has opposed the creation of such a system due to significant privacy concerns about violating the confidentiality of students’ personal information. Based on feedback from our members and conversations with the NAICU Board, we found that the CTA, if passed, would also result in new and costly reporting burdens for colleges.

In seeking the appropriate balance between privacy and data needs, the higher education community has been divided for years regarding the CTA. This division has even extended to members within each association, including NAICU. NAICU’s letter was prompted by American Council on Education’s (ACE) release of its own letter supporting the CTA. ACE had previously remained neutral on the CTA due to the conflicting community views. We were engaged in a lengthy discussion with ACE and our other association colleagues about the letter and ACE’s new position, and even coordinated the timing of our letters to the Hill.

The CTA was included in the House-passed America COMPETES Act earlier this year. The House and Senate will soon begin negotiations to resolve differences between the COMPETES Act and the Senate version of the legislation, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act.


  • If the Biden Administration moves forward with a more wide-scale loan forgiveness initiative, it will likely be targeted by income such as limiting forgiveness to borrowers making less than $125,000 a year. There is still a push from the left to forgive $50,000 in student loan debt for all borrowers, but the Administration has not agreed to take this step.

Double Pell

“Receiving the Pell Grant has enabled me to find a silver lining in my education, allowing me the chance to study and pursue my dreams with less of a financial weight on my shoulders and the shoulders of my family.”

Catharina Baeten, student at Loyola University Chicago, included on Loyola’s Double the Pell Grant dedicated webpage.



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

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