NAICU Washington Update

Introduction by Barbara K. Mistick

November 11, 2022

Dear Colleagues:

In Washington this week, as in the rest of the country, the talk has been about the elections. With the results much closer than predicted, perhaps our biggest takeaway is how the election leaves us with a similar political divide to the one we had before November 8, as many Americans continue to have deep blue or red identities. But an emerging observation is that the many unexpected outcomes since Tuesday night indicate that many Americans have a growing frustration with extremism and want a return to a more civil discourse.

The lack of a mandate for either party will continue to play out in various ways in the coming weeks. For example, we will be paying particular attention to the final makeup of the House and Senate and the resulting committee leadership assignments, which will greatly impact federal higher education policy and priorities. We will have more substantive insights and analysis at our Annual Meeting in February. 

However, perhaps most important to our immediate future, the lack of a clear victor could pave the way for the current Congress to broker a bi-partisan deal to resolve federal funding for the 2023 federal fiscal year before the current continuing resolution (CR) expires on December 16. This could bode well for the proposed $500 Pell Grant increase. In addition, both leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee – Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) – are retiring and many in congress want to support their interest in approving their final spending bill. 

We will keep you posted on the politics of the lame duck session, which will get underway in full force after the Thanksgiving holiday.

This week’s Washington Update provides thorough details on the final rules issued by the Department of Education stemming from two negotiated rulemaking sessions. SAVE THE DATE: NAICU will be hosting a webinar to provide more details and answer your questions about these final rules on December 6, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST. Stay tuned for more information.


  • Last Day to Vote in NAICU Board Elections: Today is the final day to vote in the regional elections for members of the NAICU Board of Directors. Ballots have been sent to members in regions with more than one nominee, specifically: Region I, IV, V, VII, and VIII (see Region map). Thank you to those who have already submitted their ballots. The deadline for submitting ballots is today, November 11, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. EST.
  • This week, Hurricane Nicole struck Florida and is expected to impact other states along the eastern seaboard as it moves up the coast. As a reminder, in states and counties where a federal natural disaster has been proclaimed, there may be federal assistance available. FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides supplemental grants to state, tribal, territorial, and local governments, and certain types of private, nonprofits, including private, nonprofit colleges and universities. More information is available on the NAICU website. President Biden has already approved an emergency declaration in Florida, a move that will make federal disaster relief funding available under the Stafford Act.
  • The National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (NASSGAP) released its 52nd annual report on state-sponsored financial aid, highlighting the $14.8 billion state investment in student financial aid for the 2020-21 award year. Nationwide, a total of $9.4 billion was provided for state need-based grant aid, with $1.576 billion, or 16.8% of that, provided to students at private, nonprofit colleges. The report also includes state-by-state data, including state totals, grant amounts, and number of recipients. California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and New York remain the top ranked states for providing state-based financial aid.
  • To encourage Americans of all ages to get their updated COVID-19 vaccines, the White House is looking to highlight campuses, businesses, etc. that are hosting vaccine clinics, events, or any other related activities leading up to the holidays. If you have an example you would like them to highlight as part of the #VaxUpAmerica campaign, please email Mary Wall ( and Sarah Bobardt ( in the Executive Office of the President.
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a new “Know Your Rights” poster describing federal laws that prohibit job discrimination. Colleges and universities that are subject to these laws are required to prominently display the poster in the workplace and are advised to remove previous versions as soon as possible. The new poster contains several changes, including a QR code that provides quick access on how to file a complaint, as well as clarification that federal laws, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and age, also extend to protect against pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity discrimination though the current exemption for religious employers remains applicable.

Double Pell

“As we boost support for K-12 education, we also acknowledge that 12 years of school is no longer enough to compete in the 21st century — so my Administration is taking historic steps to expand access to education beyond high school, too. We have increased the maximum Pell Grant, helping millions of low-income students cover more of their college costs. We have invested billions of dollars in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority-Serving Institutions, such as Hispanic-Serving Institutions.”

President Biden in a proclamation issued yesterday commemorating American Education Week.

Barbara K. Mistick
President, NAICU

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