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SA Weekly: November 18

Civic Engagement Policy and Advocacy Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Division
November 18, 2019 Maya Ward-Fineman NASPA

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

Supreme Court Takes Up DACA “Court considers whether the Trump administration lawfully ended a program that provides deportation relief and work authorization to hundreds of thousands of undocumented young people, including many college students.”

FTC Takes Student Debt Relief Company to Court “FTC wins restraining order against group it alleges portrayed itself as affiliated with the Department of Education before charging borrowers for services it misrepresented.”

Tug-of-War Over Students' Votes “Efforts to suppress -- and protect -- the rights of student voters grow as they become a more influential bloc. Whether they voted in local elections or cast ballots on statewide issues, the elections last week showed the stakes are high.”

Wake-Up Call “Several student deaths in the last month at the University of Southern California may have been overdoses. Other institutions are searching for ways to address the opioid epidemic before it costs lives on their campuses.”

States Ramp Up Aid Programs “A report on 2017-18 state grants and aid shows that grant programs, including funding boosts in Florida and New York, contributed to a significant increase in state aid nationally.”

Working College Students “The vast majority of college students today work, but their motivations and experiences vary widely based on demographics.”

Return on Students' Investments Varies Over Time “Colleges ranking highly after 10 years aren't necessarily the same ones at the top after 40 years, report says. The middle tier is a perhaps surprising mix of public, nonprofit and for-profit institutions.”

How Mindfulness Helps Grad Students “First study on the effects of mindfulness on graduate students says it has significant benefits.” 

Policy Update

Public Comments—Re: Docket No. DHS-2019-0044 Agency Information Collection Activities: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Social Media Information on Immigration  

Submitted by American Council on Education and 11 higher education organizations, including NASPA, November 4, 2019 

NASPA signed onto the American Council on Education (ACE) public comments to the Department of Homeland Security opposing a proposal on the collection of social media handles as a new vetting measure to ensure national security. NASPA shares concerns with ACE on this proposal due to declining international student enrollment, the unwelcoming message it sends to visa applicants, and privacy concerns it presents for students. 

DACA Oral Arguments Open Next Week: Practical Advocacy Tips for SA Pros

by Diana Ali, Associate Director of Policy Research and Advocacy, November 4, 2019 

Relevant Bills & Updates

Lawmakers Skeptical of Progress on Spending Deal as Wall Battle Looms

By Niv Elis, The Hill, November 17, 2019

The House and Senate have recognized that a compromise on appropriations funding will not be reached by the upcoming November 21 continuing resolution (CR) deadline. President Trump has indicated he will be willing to sign an extension to the CR, which is expected to run through December 20. Partisan disagreements regarding border wall funding is the primary issue preventing Congress from successfully reaching a deal at this time. 

Executive Office Meetings for Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Meetings scheduled through December 19, 2019

The Department of Education’s proposed Title IX rule has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget, the penultimate step in the finalization of the policy. At this time, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has meetings on the rule scheduled through December 19. 

Relevant Regulations

Notice of Subcommittee Meetings for the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC)

  •        A Notice by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on November 13, 2019
  •        Virtual meetings open to the public on December 4, 2019
  •        Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services 

Summary from the Federal Register: The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) announces subcommittee meetings of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC). The meetings are open to the public and can be accessed via telephone only. Agenda with call-in information will be posted on the SAMHSA website prior to the meetings at. The meetings will include information on the following focus areas: Data, Access, Treatment and Recovery, Justice, and Finance.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements

  •        A Proposed Rule by the Homeland Security Department on November 14, 2019
  •        Open comment period that ends on December 16, 2019
  •        U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security

Summary from Federal Register: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to adjust certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS conducted a comprehensive biennial fee review and determined that current fees do not recover the full costs of providing adjudication and naturalization services. DHS proposes to adjust USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 21 percent, add new fees for certain benefit requests, establish multiple fees for petitions for nonimmigrant workers, and limit the number of beneficiaries on certain forms to ensure that USCIS has the resources it needs to provide adequate service to applicants and petitioners. Adjustments to the fee schedule are necessary to recover the full operating costs associated with administering the nation's immigration benefits system, safeguarding its integrity, and efficiently and fairly adjudicating immigration benefit requests, while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our country's values. USCIS also is proposing changes to certain other immigration benefit request requirements.

This rule if made final would increase fees for certain forms as a part of the U.S. citizenship and visa application process in some cases more than 500%. Fees for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application would increase from $495 to $765. 

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