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SA Weekly: July 22

Civic Engagement Policy and Advocacy Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement
July 22, 2019 Maya Ward-Fineman NASPA

Welcome to SA Weekly, your destination for higher ed news, NASPA research and policy, constituent blogs, and more.

Faculty Fight in the Last Frontier “Facing unprecedented state cuts, faculty members at one branch of the University of Alaska system assert that another campus should absorb most of the financial pain. Its peers aren't pleased.”

States Put Stamp on Student Loan Oversight “After the Trump administration dialed back oversight of student loan servicers, states have responded to demands from consumer groups by passing new laws targeting companies that handle millions of borrowers' payments.”

Senators Push Alternative to Student Loans “Lawmakers argue bipartisan bill would spur growth of income-share agreements by clarifying consumer protections. Skeptics say the agreements offer students a different kind of debt.:

Taking Stock of Pell Grants Behind Bars “At an annual meeting of supporters of the Second Chance Pell pilot program, many attendees focused on full reinstatement of federal aid for incarcerated students.”

Tough New Law Against Hazing “Florida legislation gives prosecutors the ability to bring charges against fraternity and sorority members who weren't present for hazing but helped plan it.”

Grappling With New Taxes “Business officers are becoming ‘very good friends’ with the lawyers in their institutions as they wrestle with paying taxes in an uncertain environment.”

NCAA Lawyers Up “Spending on outside lawyers jumped by $18 million in two years amid lawsuits.”

The NCAA's First Corruption Charges “North Carolina State is the first institution to face the NCAA regarding the corruption case that rocked college basketball two years ago. But will the association go after the institutions that earn it the most money?”

Career Training … in the Arts “To help students majoring in artistic fields find employment after graduation without compromising their passions, Texas-Arlington develops unique concentrations with practical applications.”

Policy Research & Advocacy

Driven by careful deliberation with senior-level staff and the consultation of NASPA membership, NASPA sign-on statements and letters of support work to advance the vision of the NASPA Strategic Plan in fulfilling the promise of higher education.

Coalition Letter to Congressional Leaders Urging Protection of Graduate Student Financial Aid in HEA

By 32 associations committed to higher education, including NASPA, July 15, 2019

Federal Updates

Delays in Nonimmigrant Visa Processes Affecting International Students in Upcoming School Year

The American Council on Education (ACE) along with seven higher education association organizations sent a letter to leadership on the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship on July 15, 2019 to detail concerns within the higher education community regarding the processing of nonimmigrant visas affecting international student enrollment in the 2019-2020 academic year. As reported by Education Dive on July 19, 2019, visa delays and policy changes, such as how visa holders accrue “unlawful presence” has resulted in a 6.9% drop in new international undergraduate enrollments and a 6.8% drop in international graduate enrollments in the 2017-18 academic year. According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators, international students currently contribute $39 billion to the national economy. ACE is asking for the Trump administration to commit to maintain premium processing with interruptions for I-539 Applications to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status applications and I-129 Petitions for Nonimmigrant Worker for H-1Bs.

ISA Student Protection Act of 2019

Primary Sponsor: Sen. Todd Young

Senator Todd Young introduced bipartisan legislation on July 16, 2019 that aims to increase the growth of income-share agreements (ISAs), in which workers agree to pay back a portion of their future income as an alternative to student loans. The bill has gained Democratic support from its previous iterations, which Inside Higher Ed  postures may indicate a growing bipartisan interest in student loan alternatives. Like private student loans, however, ISAs may lead to similar challenges in ensuring servicer lender accountability.

College Student Hunger Act of 2019

Primary Sponsor: Sen. Elizabeth Warren

The College Student Hunger Act of 2019, introduced by Senator Warren on July 18, 2019 would make independent students such as those who are in foster care, who are veterans, or currently experiencing homelessness, as well as those who are eligible for Pell Grants, eligible to apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The bill also lowers the weekly work requirement from 20 hours per week to 10 hours per week for college students.

Regulatory Updates

Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds

  • Proposed Rule by the Department of Homeland Security on October 10, 2018
  • Released Spring Regulatory Calendar expects final rule in September 2019

In October 2018, DHS published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the federal register titled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.” The proposed rule would make it difficult for immigrants receiving a wide array of public benefits to receive a green card, and according to a Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) factsheet using American Community Survey (ACS) data, the rule, if passed could impact 26 million United States residents. A version of the public charge being considered by DHS was leaked in June 2018. In response, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) put out a report noting “chilling effects” of the rule through an analysis of welfare reform efforts in the 1990s. MPI concluded that the rule would have a resounding impact, discouraging immigrants from accessing public assistance benefits for which they are eligible, regardless of immigration status. Public comment on the Public Charge NPRM closed on December 10, 2018 and over 265,000 comments were received.

According to Politico this past week, the Trump administration began its review of the final Public Charge rule.

Want to submit comments of your own? Check out NASPA’s Q&A on submitting public comments

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