SA Weekly: April 22

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

The Case for Pell in Prisons “Broad coalition makes lifting ban on Pell Grants in prisons a top priority as lawmakers debate an update to the Higher Education Act.”

Rethinking Federal Lending to Parents “Lending program for parents of undergraduates has expanded beyond its intended use, leaving many borrowers with debts they struggle to repay, report finds. Co-authors argue Congress should cap borrowing under the Parent PLUS program.”

The Future of Gen Ed “General education is under threat, but it's worth the fight. Advocates share war and success stories at Inside Higher Ed event.”

Science vs. Security “Over past 18 months, the White House, federal agencies and Congress have all signaled concerns about theft of sensitive academic research by foreign competitors. Here's what's been happening.”

‘After Virginia Tech’ “Author discusses new book on the impact of the mass shooting and how survivors tried to honor the dead and prevent future tragedies.”

Harsh Take on Assessment… From Assessment Pros “At accrediting conference, panelists acknowledge that effort to measure learning outcomes has been a "hot mess" and that it's time for a better approach.”

Free-Tuition Idea Spreads in Med Schools “A year after NYU's medical school went tuition-free, Washington University in St. Louis announces that scholarships will eliminate tuition charges for more than half of new M.D. students.”

Policy Update

Is In-State Tuition Enough? 2019 State Legislation for Undocumented Students by Diana Ali, Assistant Director of Policy Research and Advocacy


Federal Updates

H.R. 6-American Dream and Promise Act of 2019

Primary Sponsor: Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard

Committees: House Committee on the Judiciary, House Committee on Education and Labor

Latest Action: on April 8, 2019, this legislation was referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship

The 2019 version of the Dream Act is a reiteration of the 2017 version and would establish a permanent solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients as well as establish a 10-year conditional permanent resident status for those brought to the country as minors, as well as create a pathway to citizenship for eligible undocumented immigrants. The legislation also would repeal Section 505 of the Illegal Immigration reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996 that pertains to repercussions for states that provide financial aid and in-state tuition accessibility for Dreamers.

NASPA is advocating for the passage of the American Dream and Promise Act, along with the Senate version of the bill, as part of an immigration advocacy week with the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, FWD.us, and United We Dream starting on April 29.

S.1074 - Restoring Education And Learning (REAL) Act of 2019

Primary Sponsor: Sen. Brian Schatz

Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

The Senate introduced its version of the REAL Act on April 9. The bill would reinstate Federal Pell Grant eligibility for individuals incarcerated in Federal and State institutions. This bill is in the first stage of the legislative process.


State Updates

Free SpeecH Legislation

Firearms on Campus Legislation 

Trans and Gender Non-binary Rights legislation

Keep track of the most recent developments in your state with govtrack.us and openstates.org.


Regulatory Updates

The Department of Education reached draft consensus language on accreditation April 3, 2019

This language was reached as a result of negotiated rulemaking in the spring and will undergo the notice and comment period process before its earliest implementation in July 2020. Inside Higher Ed has created a breakdown of the changes made during negotiated rulemaking. Once released, language in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking may differ due to technical corrections.

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; National Center for College Students With Disabilities (NCCSD) Database of Disability Services and Activities in Higher Education

  • Notice by the Education Department, April 17, 2019
  • Public comment period that ends on May 17, 2019
  • Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), Department of Education (ED)

Summary from the Federal Register: “The NCCSD survey will ask all U.S. campuses to provide basic information about disability services, accessibility of campus, and disability-related activities that may affect inclusion and the campus climate. The data will be available to the public in an accessible and searchable database, to help prospective college students and their families make informed decisions during the college search process. Because the database will be public, researchers and policymakers will also be able to utilize the data to gather information about disability and higher education in systematic ways.”

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

Around NASPA

Engaging Student-Athletes: A Service Initiative Model from Elon University, Sarah Williams, LEAD Initiative