NAICU Washington Update

Introduction by Barbara K. Mistick

October 28, 2022

Dear Colleagues:

Earlier this week, the College Board released its annual Trends in College Pricing and Trends in Student Aid reports. The reports include significant data on costs, aid, including institutional aid and Pell Grants, enrollment trends, college finances, and more and are important tools in helping tell the complete story of pricing and debt in our sector and all of higher education. 

Among the report’s findings, college tuition and fees decreased during the 2022-23 academic year when adjusted for inflation. The average net tuition and fee price paid by first-time, full-time students enrolled at private, nonprofit four-year institutions has also declined to an estimated $14,630 in 2022-23, from a peak of $17,960 in 2016-17, after adjusting for inflation.

In NAICU staff news, the office is a little sadder and a little quieter than usual this week as we bid a Happy Retirement to Bo Newsome, NAICU’s long-time Director of Outreach and State Relations. When Bo was hired nearly 24 years ago, it was a new position that he truly defined for our association. He has figured out so much for us, from data systems to help us communicate with Congress, to networking with advocacy organizations, to simply being a positive force for our cause. Bo has been instrumental in many of our initiatives, currently playing a leading role in Your Vote Your Voice and the Congressional Independent Colleges Caucus.

But above all, Bo will be remembered for his work with the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities State Executives (NAICUSE), our key partners in serving our sector effectively at both the federal and state levels of government. The energy and enthusiasm Bo brings to his work every day is truly infectious.

Bo will never be replaced but we are in the process of filling this essential position and we will have someone on board as soon as possible.

This week’s Washington Update covers yet another announcement by the Department of Education regarding expanding various aspects of its loan forgiveness programs. You can read more details in our story below.


  • The Department of Education released a set of final regulations on three important issue areas from its extensive negotiated rulemaking sessions. The topics addressed in the regulations include: 1) a strengthened 90/10 rule to include consideration of veterans benefits in the 90% threshold for proprietary schools; 2) standards for prison education programs; and 3) new accountability rules for institutions undergoing changes in ownership. NAICU is currently assessing the regulations and will report additional details on its possible implications for our sector in next week’s Washington Update.
Double Pell

The results of the upcoming election are sure to have an impact on many issues affecting higher education – no matter the outcomes and what the makeup of the 118th Congress looks like. One thing that we hope will continue, no matter which party is in control, is the strong bipartisan support for the Pell Grant. As a reminder (from NAICU’s national survey of adults):

  • 60% are familiar with the Pell Grant
  • 87% support the Pell Grant
  • 75% support doubling the Pell Grant, including 66% of Republicans and 88% of Democrats

Here is the fact sheet we created on the national support for the Pell Grant.

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