The more that fly-by-night for-profit programs soak up federal aid dollars, the less that is left for students at traditional colleges, and the more calls there will be to reduce funding for student aid, he said. FUNDING AND OTHER ISSUES. A new report concludes that the Graham-Cassidy proposal would reduce federal funding to states by $215 billion by 2026. As for lobbying Congress, institutions like Bucknell, California State University, the State University of New York and the City University of New York have scaled back or stopped entirely. ADVERTISEMENT Skip Including early education, K-12, higher education and disability. However, some larger research institutions, including the University of California system, have ramped up spending on federal lobbying, a shift Gilbert said has made it harder for smaller colleges to get federal funding. The gambit underscores one of the under-appreciated truths about lobbying in Washington in an era of divided government: Special interests are often as interested in preserving a favorable status quo as they are in getting government to take an action to their benefit. Share your thoughts », Analysis: Low-income community college students most likely to report canceling college plans, Institutions planning to offer more in-person opportunities in spring, Federal Guidance on Foreign Students Remains Same for Spring, Student loan servicers worry about being overwhelmed, The Research University Must Evolve | Just Visiting, Essays on how to improve connections to careers for undergraduates, Former Calvin University professor denied tenure and terminated alleges racial discrimination and re, College Apologizes for Plagiarized Antiracist Statement, Higher Education Events Calendar & People, Call for the Research University to Evolve, Live Updates: Latest News on Coronavirus and Higher Education, New Analysis of Faculty Pay, Representation, Report: Fewer High School Students Went Straight to College, Research Finds Johns Hopkins Founder Enslaved People, Moody's Sees Negative Outlook for Community Colleges, Pitzer Launches B.A. In recent years, more and more of them have chosen to hire professional Washington DC lobbyists to maintain a strong presence in the … Early on, the traditional higher education lobby generally backed the administration. GSPM’s Master’s in Political Management Check out the infographic for more thoughts on nonprofit advocacy and lobbying efforts, and contact an enrollment advisor to learn more … A 2012 Senate report found that taxpayers spent $32 billion in the prior year on companies operating for-profit colleges—which rely almost entirely on federal student aid for revenues—and that most of their students left without a degree, half within four months. Lobbying for Higher Education is about how the major higher education associations and the constituent American colleges and universities try to influence federal policy, especially congressional policy. For most of Obama’s tenure, the department’s top regulatory priority has been reining in abuses by the for-profit sector, which as of 2012 accounted for only 13 percent of the nation’s college enrollment, but 47 percent of the defaults on loans. The so-called “gainful employment” rules cut off federal aid for programs that fell below certain thresholds for how students were keeping up with payments and how their earnings compared with the debt they’d accumulated. Stett Holbrook, a UC spokesman, said lobbying expenditures have risen because of a number of factors, including "issues before Congress and the administration, and the amount of time associations spend on lobbying done on members’ behalf." The International Astronomical Union has established a committee to finalize a list of official star names. “But in the 11th hour, they’ve gotten cold feet,” he said. By … But consumer advocates say the report should be taken with a dose of skepticism, given that the task force was picked entirely by the higher education lobby’s biggest group, with no advocates for taxpayers or students represented. CUNY spent $30,000 in 2010 but nothing last year. A decade ago, Bucknell University was among 700 other higher education institutions and groups that spent about $100 million to hire lobbyists in Washington -- many of them hitting up members of Congress for earmarks to pay for things like a new campus lab or building. According to lobbying data, Cal State, which spent $1.3 million in 2010, spent about half as much ($724,000) last year. The U.S. has a rough track record with how it treats new parents, but there are reasons to believe that this could soon be a thing of the past. In 2012, a federal judge struck down the threshold on loan re-payment rates as overly arbitrary. Whenever the balance of power in the nation’s Congress changes dramatically, institutions of higher education move to rework their government relations practices. The bill, which has a counterpart in the Senate, would bar the regulations on for-profits, among other regulatory rollbacks. However, lobbyists who represent small and medium-size institutions say it has become more difficult for them to get funding. A Scholar Examines the Higher-Education Lobby. Alexander has praised the task force report—over-regulation of colleges, he said at a hearing on the report, represents “sloppy, inefficient governing that wastes money, hurts students, discourages productivity, and impedes research.”. While lobbying Congress may have dropped off, efforts to influence the U.S. Department of Education and other agencies has continued, if not increased, at a time when agencies consider changes to policies around accreditation and how campuses deal with allegations of sexual assault and harassment. “Most kids go to college within 50 miles of where they live. Black, the for-profit association spokesman, said the revised regulations are unquestionably tougher in how they determine whether a program is falling short. "Federal earmarks from legislators are no longer the same as they were in prior years. This gives the higher education lobby hope that he’ll push to include many of its deregulatory proposals in the re-authorizing bill. A lobbyist who represents research universities said many of those institutions ramped up their presence in Washington after the end of earmarks in order to build deeper relationships with agencies that fund research. “We’re always happy when people agree with us.”. A SUNY spokeswoman attributed the decline to becoming more efficient and having university staff handle lobbying. “The rule will make a huge difference for the more than 800,000 students enrolled in the worst programs, who otherwise face unaffordable debts and defaults with life-changing consequences,” said James Kvaal, deputy director of the White House’s Domestic Policy Council. As first reported by Politico in January, House Democrats are considering bringing back earmarks by allowing the funding of a controlled number of lawmakers' local projects from limited pots of federal cash. Over the years, “Bucknell has received a few earmarks for capital items -- e.g. Harvard is working with higher education lobbying groups to alleviate unforeseen challenges presented by the global coronavirus pandemic, according to University Spokesperson Jason A. Newton. We strongly support the peer-reviewed, competitive grants process through which our researchers have achieved great success.”. If that change happens, lobbyists and some institutions say more colleges will go back to hiring D.C. lobbyists. Take action for public education Make sure OurVoice is heard in Olympia Here's how you can stay up to speed with legislative and political news that affects students, educators and public schools – and take action … But in the case of the for-profit regulations, this approach is short-sighted, he said. However, lobbyists are also skeptical Congress will take the risk of being seen as bringing back what’s been derided as wasteful pork during an election year. The report found that at the 30 companies studied, the average CEO pay was $7.3 million, and that 22.4 percent of revenue went to marketing and recruiting, 19.4 percent to profits, and only 17.7 percent to instruction. All students in the U.S. should have access to really quality experiences and great scientific resources.”, The lobbyist complained, “The big ones have gotten bigger.”. “The Department of Education has developed an insatiable appetite for expanding regulation.”. But plan might be tough sell for Democrats. This bid for GOP favor may seem counter-intuitive, given that many conservatives view academia as a bastion of pampered liberalism. “But while they used to do it overtly, now they’re calling up the heads of agencies behind the scenes,” he said. The lobbying by public colleges and universities isn’t a surprise, given that the Legislature and governor control hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for higher education. An advocacy group for 61 Massachusetts colleges and universities expects to have a new leader in 2021. Above all, they are resistant to the administration’s plan for a new ratings system for colleges to supplement the oft-criticized U.S. News rankings. And suddenly it’s getting a lift from a set of unlikely allies: traditional colleges and universities. The members of the Higher Education Testing Group are (in alphabetical order): Robert A. For now, it is serving as a stand-in for the real battle, the upcoming re-authorization of the 1965 Higher Education Act, which was last updated in 2008. The number of higher education institutions and groups hiring lobbyists to influence Congress has dropped by about a fourth between 2010 and 2019, from 683 to 396, according to an Inside Higher Ed analysis of federal lobbying disclosure data. In reality, the higher education lobby represents an industry as self-interested as any other—the two largest of the its many trade groups reported spending $500,000 on federal lobbying last year—and it spies an opportunity in the deregulatory instincts of the Republican majority. “In 2010, Congress was still using earmarks in the appropriations process, and a lot of work was devoted to this particular part of advocacy,” said Terry Hartle, the American Council on Education’s senior vice president for government relations and public affairs. 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