Alongside institutional policy, local, state, and federal legislation affects the practice of higher education professionals every day in their work to educate students. Our Policy and Advocacy focus area serves the need for timely information and analyses related to emerging policy, and offers resources to help you understand evolving higher ed law curated by our research and policy team.
Empowered by the work of NASPA’s Public Policy Division, and featuring numerous high-impact professional development opportunities such as NASPA Hill Days and the Certificate Program in Student Affairs Law and Policy, this focus area aims to educate higher ed pros about the legislative, compliance, and policy issues relevant in today’s higher ed landscape.
State Legislation Affecting Student Affairs
State by state tracker | Click on a state to see current relevant legislation.
The U.S. Supreme Court dismantled race-conscious admissions in higher education with its decision in two cases brought by Students for Fair Admissions against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. In its ruling, the Court’s majority relied on the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, but they dismissed the reality that in the U.S., race continues to affect access and educational outcomes. Over the course of five decades, affirmative action - and race-conscious admissions in particular - has fundamentally altered colleges and universities to be more racially diverse and to expose students to a broader range of perspectives. More than ever, we must affirm that fostering an inclusive campus remains an integral part of the mission of higher education, and is key to cultivating academic inquiry and advancing student success.
The Respect for Marriage Act vote and enactment carry meaningful symbolic and material impact—and the bill also falls short of full federal protection. The policy landscape for queer and trans individuals remains fraught, and NASPA and the Gender and Sexuality Knowledge Community invite members to an interactive open forum that will focus on policy literacy and action planning. This event will be hosted in January when many state legislative sessions begin. Information about this virtual event will be shared at a later date. In the meantime, we invite you to download NASPA’s January 2022 issue brief, “Current U.S. State Policy Landscape Impacting Transgender and Gender Non-Binary College Students.”
We, the undersigned student affairs associations, respectfully submit these comments in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rule, under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Docket ID ED–2021–OCR–0166), published July 12, 2022. We write both to commend the Department of Education (the Department) for many aspects of the rule, and to request several revisions and additions to further strengthen Title IX in tandem with the needs of today’s students, and the student affairs professionals working to serve them on the frontlines.
We appreciate the role the Forbes article plays in raising awareness of the morale issues that exist in the higher education workforce, and of the need to examine pay scales for the critical work of student affairs professionals – something that is long overdue. NASPA regularly provides input on policies that would impact the student affairs community. We are not opposed to raising minimum salary thresholds, and insist that the Department of Labor allow for input as part of making regulatory changes.
NASPA stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. The war in Ukraine poses an immediate threat to the lives and well-being of many of our dedicated colleagues and their families. In addition, this crisis is generating consequences in the region that can be felt globally. NASPA is monitoring the responses of higher education institutions, associations, and students and will share an update on the effects of the conflict and sanctions in our monthly policy newsletter (to receive the newsletter, visit this link and select Public Policy Division in Divisions and Groups).
On behalf of 15,000 student affairs professionals represented by NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and the Undocumented Immigrants and Allies Knowledge Community, we submitted this comment letter in response to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s proposed rule, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DHS Docket No. USCIS-2021-0006), published September 28, 2021. NASPA writes both in support of the proposed rule and to request several changes and additions to further strengthen DACA in tandem with the needs of today’s higher education community.
Statements and Comments on Recent Policy Matters NASPA Has Joined in the Last Year
Collective advocacy, the intentional leveraging of many voices on a single issue or set of issues, is a powerful and effective way to get lawmakers’ attention. Whether you join in to add your voice on issues that affect our students and their ability to access and complete their education, or organize a call-in or letter writing campaign to mobilize others, your voice is needed. The list below represents a sampling of current calls to action, though please note that calls for an institutional commitment or comment should be handled in cooperation with your campus government affairs or senior leadership team.
NASPA is a part of coalition-building in support of doubling the Pell Grant program in hopes of expanding college access and success prospects for students. Take action and explore the website to learn more about the campaign.
NASPA is a member of the Student Aid Alliance, which works to support student financial aid through the federal budget and appropriations process. You can reach out to Congress to join them with just a few quick minutes!
We want to hear from you! NASPA regularly tracks and analyzes federal and state policies to inform NASPA statements, endorse legislation, and create advocacy strategies to best serve the field of student affairs. We work to be nimble and respond to the needs of the membership in an evolving policy atmosphere, and what better way than to hear directly from you! Please fill out this form to let us know about what legislative activity, and topical issues you are most impacted by. Whether it's a link to an article that passed your desk this morning, or proposed legislation you are actively monitoring, we want to hear from you. We encourage you to add your voice to the conversation in elevating the role of student affairs in higher education policy today.
For any follow up questions you may have or to learn more about NASPA's advocacy strategies and the NASPA Public Policy Agenda, please reach out to Diana Ali, Associate Director of Policy Research and Advocacy at firstname.lastname@example.org.