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News & Media

Washington Update

May 5, 2021

President Biden Unveils the American Families Plan
Last week, President Biden unveiled Phase II of his infrastructure and recovery proposal, the American Families Plan, focusing on the administration’s education, childcare, paid leave, and other priorities. Of particular interest, the $1.8 trillion proposal includes:

  • An increase in the maximum Pell Grant by $1,400 as a “a down payment on President Biden’s commitment to double the maximum award”
  • A federal-state partnership to achieve free community college
  • A federal program to provide tuition subsidies to students for two years of education at an HBCU or MSI for students from households earning less than $125,000
  • $62 billion for college completion and student success initiatives
  • New investments in building capacities of HBCUs and MSIs

APLU released a statement expressing appreciation for many of the proposed investments in higher education, including an increase to Pell and substantial support for HBCUs and MSIs, while making clear the plan is incomplete as it does not provide a broad strategy to increase access and affordability for public four-year university students. The statement urges an expansion in the proposed federal-state partnership to include all public colleges and universities.

APLU Principles for a New Title IX Regulation on Campus Sexual Misconduct
APLU, in collaboration with a working group from member institutions, developed principles for a new Title IX regulation on campus sexual misconduct. Among the principles are the recognition of public universities’ moral obligations to provide safe campuses and combat discrimination; the need to advance procedural fairness for complainants and respondents; recognition of public universities’ obligations under the Constitution as well as application of state and federal laws, and student conduct codes; need to take into account institutions of all sizes/types/resource levels; and public universities’ interest in forging a partnership between the federal government to research, test, develop, and implement prevention strategies, training, and programming.

The Biden administration is currently conducting a comprehensive review of the Trump administration’s final Title IX regulations and is seeking stakeholder input. APLU has shared the document with the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

Associations Request At Least $50 million for EducationUSA in FY2022
APLU joined the Association of American Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators on a letter to House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on State and Foreign Operations leaders urging at least $50 million for EducationUSA in FY2022. EducationUSA promotes the value of higher education at U.S. colleges and universities to international students abroad. Increased funding for the program would help boost international student enrollment and reduce the continuing decline of international student admissions at U.S. institutions of higher education.

See all of APLU’s Fiscal Year 2022 priorities, which are consistently updated with the latest action on the Hill.

  • Council on Governmental Affairs

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