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Will Biden’s American Rescue Plan Help Rebuild Higher Education?

Episode 54

April 20, 2021 32 minutes


EAB’s Kaitlyn Maloney returns to the podcast to moderate a discussion with her colleagues Jackson Nell and Kathy Ruby on what the American Rescue Plan means for higher education. The three talk about what we’ve learned from previous federal stimulus bills that might help schools begin to chart a path forward, even as we wait for much-needed guidance from the Department of Education.

They urge university leaders to view this as their last and best opportunity to put their financial houses in order. They also share tips for communicating with students and families about the distribution of financial aid.



0:00:12.0 Speaker 1: Hello and welcome to Office Hours with EAB. On today’s show, we dig into the latest federal stimulus package and explore what colleges and universities can expect to accomplish with this latest cash infusion, our guests urged university leaders to view this has perhaps their best and last chance to put their financial house in order. They also share tips on how to communicate with students about financial aid and about the steps families need to take to ensure they receive all of the financial help to which they are entitled. Thank you for joining us and enjoy.

0:00:54.7 Kaitlyn Maloney: Hello everyone and welcome to Office Hours with EAB. This is Kaitlyn Maloney, a senior director on our research team. I’m delighted to be joined today by two of my most esteemed colleagues, Jackson Nell an associate director on our research team, and Kathy Ruby, a principal on our financial aid optimization team. Thank you for joining us today, Jackson and Kathy.

0:01:15.6 Jackson Nell: Thank you so much, Kaitlyn, it’s great to be here.

0:01:19.9 Kathy Ruby: Thanks, Kaitlyn, happy to be here.

0:01:23.7 KM: Now, although Jackson and Kathy work in completely different parts of EAB and are actually based in different physical offices across the country, they’ve both been spending a lot of their time across the past month or so helping partners interpret the latest federal relief bill, The American Rescue Plan, and helping partners develop plans to legally and strategically use this new funding on campus. I know a lot of our listeners are working through these decisions right now, and others might just be curious for a behind the scenes look at how colleges and universities will benefit from this latest round of federal funding. Jackson, you joined me on a podcast to talk about the second of the three Covid federal relief packages back in December, I think at that time, I’d kick things off by saying, “Please help me set the record straight, this is just acronym soup going around.” And same with this, CARES relief package I’m hearing CARES III, HEERF III, ARPA, how do you refer to this relief package?

0:02:23.1 JN: Yeah, no, that’s such a great point, Kaitlyn. It’s really an alphabet soup, it kinda reminds me of the New Deal in a little bit with all these iconic acronyms going around, none of them are as catchy as the WPA or by any means there, but where we stand right now are… I think HEERF is the way we should be thinking about this more broadly, the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, so we have HEERF I, which is the original CARES Act, HEERF II, which is the CRRSA, CRRSA or CRRSA some people refer to it and then HEERF III, the American Rescue Plan or ARPA, that’s probably the best convention, just because that’s the most consistent. Again, phonetically that varies across the country as well, I’ve heard everyone pronounce CRRSA to CRRSA to The American Rescue Plan is ARPA or ARPA it all varies, so I think phonetically HEERF is probably the most universal that we have.

0:03:10.2 KM: Got it. Some of our listeners might be able to orient themselves around the three different stimulus bills or stimulus checks to individuals that we receive, and in fact, colleges and universities received three stimulus checks, so to speak, in each of these periods. So tell us a little bit more about HEERF III, a bit more than a month old now, where does it currently stand, have colleges and universities received the funding yet?

0:03:37.0 JN: Yeah. And unfortunately, at the time of this recording, they have yet to receive their funding, the Department of Education is working on publishing their allocation tables and their guidance, we expect that any day shortly to come out, but the package was passed at the beginning of March, slowly the dollars have been rolling out across all of the funding vehicles created through the American Rescue Plan. And again, I think there’s a lot of complexity here too, with both the higher education components and some of the other components going to states, individuals, those $1400 checks that you alluded to, Kaitlyn. So, a lot here that exists in the American Rescue Plan, particularly focused on higher education as well.

0:04:17.7 KM: You know, there’s a lot of similarities across the three funding bills that we’ll get to but this is the biggest one, right?

0:04:25.7 JN: Yeah.

0:04:25.8 KM: On a national scale, but also the biggest direct funding to higher education.

0:04:30.1 JN: It’s huge by historical standards for sure, it’s actually the size of HEERF I and II combined.

0:04:36.4 KM: Oh, wow.

0:04:37.8 JN: So, it’s about $39.6 billion in total funding. Now, some of that’s caveating the fact that a significant share of that’s gonna go to students, which Kathy is far smarter about on that front than I am, but that is one kind of limitation here. And I think where we stand on campus right now is that most of HEERF I has been spent, those funds are expiring for most institutions this month, they can get an extension, but largely those dollars have been spent down. HEERF II that student aid is being rolled out already on most campuses, if not very shortly. And I think a lot of schools are starting to spend their institutional share of HEERF II just given they needed to drawdown a portion of it by mid-April, and quite a few are going to apply the full extent of HEERF II on the institutional share, at least in this FY and then coming into HEERF III we’re really up in the air about when we’re gonna get the dollars as I mentioned earlier, but that’s kind of where the current question is on how and when to deploy those dollars.

0:05:29.9 KM: Huh, okay. This is a lot for our listeners to process, I’m sure.

0:05:33.7 JN: Yes.

0:05:33.8 KM: Three relief packages, institutions have to use either in the past weeks or the weeks to come, the funds that they receive from the first package in May, they’re currently deploying the funds that they received in December, January from the second package, all while figuring out what to do with this third and biggest package they’ll be getting.

0:05:53.8 JN: Yes. And there’s so many moving timelines and use changes, there’s a lot of complexity here, and we’re doing this for the first time, we only have a year experience with HEERF, it was created in the original CARES Act as we know. So there’s a lot of learning by doing and a lot of waiting for guidance, quite frankly, from the Department of Education, and it’s shifted consistently over time, some things have gotten clearer, other things have actually gotten more ambiguous. So, hopefully in the next year or so, things we’ll clarify there. Kathy, I know you’ve been spending some time thinking about that too.

0:06:22.8 KR: Yeah, I just wanna chime in here and point out that all of this is during the busiest time of year for the Financial Aid Office. So I think we have to be thinking institutionally, of course, about this. I’ve talked to some schools where the financial aid office is almost solely responsible and others where it’s a much broader institutional effort, which I think is important for alleviating the stress and simply getting the money out there as quickly as possible by bringing in other teams to help. We can talk more about that later too.

0:06:55.7 KM: Right. And for our finance and budget listeners on the line, this is budget season at a lot of campuses, on top of, all cabinets are working through these new decisions around whether to require vaccinations, how to deploy vaccines that they might be getting on campus. So this is a lot, a lot to process, I’m glad we’re having this conversation to help navigate some of this. So let’s think about the institutional piece first and then Kathy, I do wanna talk more about that financial aid to students component. From the institutional aid piece, there are a lot of similarities between the three acts, I believe, but notably, this package was passed by the Biden administration, whereas the other two packages were passed by the Trump administration, so I’m sure there’s some differences embedded in there. What are the big differences in institutional aid use and deployment that you would call out, Jackson?

0:07:48.1 JN: Great point. And I think generally, HEERF III, is a little bit more restricted and a little bit more targeted than HEERF II was. HEERF II did not have the 50% requirement that at least 50% of the funds received through that formula allocation go to students, it was just the same dollar amount that existing in CARES. Whereas in HEERF III that stipulations were imposed. In addition, the administration and Congress wants a portion of the institutional share to go to implementing covid health and safety best practices on campus. So a very clear indication that politically and policy-wise, the administration and Congress want institutions to be rolling out a full robust measure of these health and safety measures.

0:08:28.3 JN: And these will largely include the established practices such as surveillance testing, contact tracing, all of the things that we’ve rolled out in the last year or so, but really a double down on making sure that that’s the case. And as Kathy can talk more about too, a portion of those dollars out of the institutional share has to go to conducting direct outreach to financial aid applicants about additional opportunities for federal financial aid using that professional [0:08:50.0] ____ mechanism. So a lot of ambiguity around what those activities will constitute as, as well as how do you define a portion, is it a fixed percent or a demonstrable amount, so things that we need the Department of guidance to weigh. Department of guidance… Department of Education, I should say. [chuckle] To weigh in here, I wish they were the department of guidance.

0:09:10.2 KM: I know you are meticulously monitoring the web for updates there, quick plug for those thinking about these public health and safety guidelines, Jackson’s team had spent a good part of the last summer working on that, so the EAB partners hopefully have a bit of a head start here by having access to that pretty robust best practices library. Jackson, but I know in the past two to three weeks, you’ve probably spent the better part of all of your days on the phone with our college and university partners helping them navigate this guidance. What are the biggest questions that they’re asking?

0:09:42.9 JN: Yeah. You know, I think a lot of folks are really running at, “How do we replace the lost revenue front?” As that offers probably the most strategic advantage for institutions when we think about closing budget deficits, mitigating all of the financial disruption that has resulted from Covid that seems to be the space to go. In addition, it converts these federal restricted dollars into a more fungible category, ’cause once you apply that expense, it becomes essentially institutional revenue that you can spend like you would do other revenue. So, that has been the big priority about talking through how they can apply that. What makes sense and is ineligible category there, particularly based off the Department of Education’s guidance on March 19th where they substantially clarified some of those questions, but of course, when they clarify some things, they create new questions that we have to answer as well, so a lot of talk on that front.

0:10:32.3 JN: I think there’s also broader questions about how we can apply that aid to potentially cancelling institutional student debt and Outstanding Student Accounts Receivable and student account balances, that was something that the department published in their March 19th guidance as an eligible category. Now they put it big and bold in the press release, but when you dive into the FAQ, it’s barely touched on. So a lot of talks about how we could potentially help students financially clear some of their financial accounts and help them return and sustain their education, coming out of Covid. So a big focus there, and quite a few questions as a result.

0:11:07.7 KM: Yeah and some pretty broad and all-encompassing goals that folks have with using this money, just for our listeners that might not be as familiar with lost revenue, so this is compared to if the pandemic hadn’t happened the way that institutions’ revenues were affected. So that’s everything from the room and board refunds that many schools had to issue last year, to any declines in enrollment that they saw year over year, all the way through things like if they chose to only do single occupancy dorm rooms on campus, what’s the revenue differential from if those were doubles or triples under normal operating conditions. So a lot of potential uses of lost revenue there, also emergency expenses that I know are covered by this. The testing, the disinfecting, the social distancing, taking all of those lost revenues and all of those expenses together, Jackson, how will this third package help institutions? Will it make them whole? Not even close? What are you seeing?

0:12:05.4 JN: Yeah, there’s been a lot of debate about this, going back to the original CARES Act, if the federal government was gonna bail out higher ed and make them whole as a result. I think at this stage, nationally, it’s very hard to tell a unified grand theory of everything on this, just given that the Covid impacts financially for institutions vary so much between segments, regions, markets. I think the best answer I have nationally is, is that when we look at how much money has been appropriated now in the HEERF program, about $78 billion that comes out to about 12% of pre-pandemic higher education operating expenditure, so quite a bit of subsidization like it never existed before the role of the federal government has expanded substantially here.

0:12:42.6 JN: But when we look at the total Covid cost, I’m gonna throw a lot of numbers at you, it’s estimated by AC and others that it ranges from $120 billion maybe all the way up to $183 billion. So in that sense, we’re talking about 40% to 60% of total Covid costs covered by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. So not anywhere near the full amount. When we talk to individual campuses, however, anecdotally, we are hearing more confidence, more optimism about the financial circumstances through HEERF III, some schools have confidentially told us that they actually have more money than they know necessarily what to do with right now. Whereas others I’ve talked to, especially some of our community colleges, they’re nowhere close to being made whole. So a lot of varying impact.

0:13:24.5 JN: The other thing I would call out here too is, is that outside of HEERF, there had been other federal vehicles to support institutions, the original CARES Act had the paycheck protection program, that a lot of our small regional privates were able to receive some funding there, and that helped support their operations and kept the lights on, quite frankly. And we look at the number of closures in the last year, it’s actually not above the average pre-existing Covid, so that’s a direct impact there. And for our publicly supported institutions, they receive funding sometimes through the governor’s emergency relief program in some states, and now they’ll also get about $350 billion in state and local support through the American Rescue Plan, so quite a bit of confidence in dollars flowing on the public side that the worst cuts will be avoided, and some states actually may restore public funding to pre-Covid baseline.

0:14:13.1 KM: Wow. It’s a lot of good news, and I’ll reiterate your point about the optimism that I’m doing in my conversations with partners right now. Jackson, I think we recorded a podcast this time last year on the CARES Act, and just thinking about the mood, the panic, the sense of urgency around these funds and very much a recognition that these were… It’s something, it’s helpful but not nearly enough. Now, it seems like even though it’s not nearly enough for many campuses, the combination of the three packages plus better than expected news on vaccine timeline, better than expected enrollments in this past fiscal year for many campuses, at least there’s a sense of optimism that this is something that with a lot of hard work and continued hard work across the past year we can overcome.

0:15:00.9 JN: Yeah, definitely. And credit to institutional leaders for making the tough decisions, Kaitlyn, all of the cost-containment measures that have been rolled out at tremendous cost to staff, to personnel as well. So hopefully, we’re recovering, but we’re not anywhere out of the storm yet, I think is an important point to emphasize, but federal aid has certainly played a role there.

0:15:18.8 KM: Well, I know this institutional piece is only half of the funding picture, so I do wanna talk about the student need piece, but before we do, Jackson, any advice for budget, finance, cabinet members, anyone thinking about how to best utilize this institutional aid?

0:15:34.8 JN: Yeah, I think the first thing is to really double down on being as strategic and centralized in your approach as possible. And that involves convening inter-departmental interdisciplinary team to really study the Department of Education’s guidance, conduct your due diligence, and then look across the enterprise for where that need and impact is going to be the greatest. I can’t emphasize enough that this is not traditional Title IV funds that we’re used to managing or Title III aid, it is very different in kind, it requires a much more strategic centralized approach to think through the opportunities here.

0:16:03.0 JN: Another thing I would add is, really running at that lost revenue replacement route. Again, there are a lot of benefits for institutions to unlock by doing so, but it requires a lot of due diligence and compliance on that front. So bringing in your auditors, bringing in your advisory groups either externally as well as your counsel, I think is going to be very helpful to make sure you get that right. And then finally, I would think about what ways we can support the access and success mission right now, I think that that’s been proven more critical than ever before due to Covid, and these funds provide a once in a generation one-time opportunity to invest in that mission. That can involve clearing those student account balances if they’re eligible or putting those funds in the broader success apparatus that we have, I think that that’s a space I see a lot of schools running at and I’m excited to see where folks think about what those opportunities look like on campus.

0:16:51.0 KM: And I like to think… Thinking about the student aid piece because so much of the federal government’s intent in supporting higher education through these relief packages were to recognize colleges and universities roles in helping students complete degrees and attain jobs that benefit themselves and our economy. Kathy, tell us about what’s the current state of affairs in financial aid shops, where are they in this process of thinking through these different funding packages and how they allocate them out to students?

0:17:22.9 KR: Yeah, so I think from the financial aid offices that I’ve talked to, it feels like certainly they’re working on the second round of funding and really trying to learn from the first round from whatever method they used to distribute the funds, really taking a look to see what worked what didn’t work. And of course, as the money builds, as there’s more and more money available, institutions are looking at how they can best distribute it. So I would say right now, as Jackson mentioned, mostly they’re concentrating on the second round, wrapped up the first round and working on the second round of funding. And what we’re seeing, I think, is more institutions moving to more of a hybrid approach, so maybe in the first round, there were probably more institutions who were using an application-based… And that made sense given that the kinds of expenses that the emergency funds for students were supposed to cover, they were supposed to be related to the disruption of campus operations. So the second round, for sure, we’re starting to see more of a block grant approach, and in some ways… Now, sometimes the financial aid office is only involved insofar as we’re helping the institution identify needier students, and then as Jackson mentioned, there’s a more centralized approach to getting the funds out there, communicating about the funds.

0:18:47.0 KR: So I think probably a shift there from the more targeted to a more hybrid approach, and some of that is also because there’s more funding and there’s just… They’re trying to get the money out there as quickly as possible. I’ll also say, just compared to the first round, it feels less urgent, so I’m… One of the Facebook pages I watch is this paying for college 101, which is quite… You can really get quite obsessed with that Facebook page, and there are a lot fewer questions about the second round, when the first round came out, there were parents everywhere saying, “When’s my child getting their money? What’s happening?” But certainly some institutions are feeling that pressure, so I guess while there’s not as much of a sense of urgency, I think institutions should be recognizing that there are still plenty of students out there who have needs and who can use these funds. So it’s finding that balance between getting money out as quickly as you can, but also trying to target the students who need it the most.

0:19:48.6 KM: Yeah. Absolutely. And to make sure I’m understanding that the shift in approach there, when in the first relief package, a lot of institutions then need students apply for the funding available and had to demonstrate need, now with you’re saying this hybrid approach, block grant, everyone’s getting something or everyone who meets a certain criteria is getting something, and then they also have a secondary pool that students are invited to apply for additional aid as well, is that right?

0:20:15.6 KR: Exactly, that’s exactly it. And essentially, the block grant itself provides the incentive, there’s nothing that gets someone’s attention like sending them money and then inviting them to apply for more, ’cause I have talked to a couple of institutions when they tried just the application approach and the second round they’re not getting as much response as they need, so really just getting as much money out there as quickly as you can while holding back in a strategic way to address additional needs.

0:20:43.6 KM: I imagine some of it… There’s the science part of figuring out the formulas and how much students should get, but I’m sure the art of communicating all of this must be a big challenge as well. You mentioned some of the Facebook pages you’re monitoring, it does seem like this is a space that is prone to maybe misinformation or just students and their families are busy and they have a lot to worry about right now, they might not be constantly monitoring or know that these funds exist. What lessons learned from how to communicate this to students and their families have some of your partners experienced during this period?

0:21:18.6 KR: Yeah, I think… Yeah, I talked to one of my partners who referenced that they had students contacting them to ask about their monthly aid check, which meaning, just the numerous packages, there’s just an expectation that they’re going to keep coming. So I think some of the challenges have been around making sure they’re addressing all the right populations. So when you make a decision that you may not be giving grants to your graduate students, know that there could be ramifications, so that was one institution. So paying attention to what you’re hearing from students and what their needs are. I would also say, and this is just me observing the announcements that I’ve seen on websites and sort of the explanation of the process, I think a lot of institutions have done some good work around trying to make as clear as possible how they arrived at what they’ve arrived at.

0:22:09.5 KR: That whatever the grant amount is or how a student can be eligible, but others have not done as great a job. And I would just really encourage institutions, certainly you’re using your communications folks, but also try showing what you’re about to publish to someone who knows nothing about financial aid and who knows nothing about what these emergency grants are. Make sure you’re very clear about what the process is, what students need, what the next step is, what is the call to action for your students? I just think we can get so… And rightfully so, I understand this, having been in a financial aid office for many years, we’re so worried about very carefully following the rules and making sure that we’re adhering to the guidance, the limited guidance that the department has issued, that we can get lost in the guidance and forget that we actually just need to communicate to students what they need to do and what we’ve done clearly and transparently.

0:23:08.0 KM: Yeah. I was thinking about how around this time last year Jackson had published some articles on the CARES Act and the interpretation online, he actually got emails from students and their parents who Googled CARES Act, found his name and were asking for his help figuring out when they were going to get their money and how if they can communicate with their school to get it, so just a good illustration of the uncertainty and the hunger for information about this stuff from students and their families. But going back to the guidance point. Same question I asked Jackson, has the guidance around how institutions must deploy this funding to students changed across the three acts or has it maintained relatively consistent?

0:23:55.4 KR: It has. The same guidance that Jackson referenced, was it March 19th, I’m not paying attention to the date, certainly provided some more guidance around who can be eligible, broadened that a bit, but there’s still outstanding issues around DACA international students. We don’t know that yet, we don’t know much about, as Jackson referenced, what does direct outreach for professional judgment mean? I listened to a NASFAA webinar where Justin and crew were discussing, in their mind, what direct means is that you can’t just post it on your website, you have to do some emailing, you have to write some letters and some post cards, but we don’t have official guidance from the department on that. So I think there’s quite a bit that’s still out there that schools don’t know, but I think they know enough from what they’ve done before to start to get a sense of what they might plan to do going forward, is what I would say. It shouldn’t hold up planning, it may hold up disbursement, but it doesn’t need to hold up planning for what they might wanna do.

0:24:56.5 KM: Okay. Got it. And that professional judgment language, that seems if, in the institutional aid piece, lost revenue replacement is the buzzword of the hour. It seems like professional judgment is the buzzword in the financial aid space. What does that mean, or how do partners interpret it to mean, based on the guidance available?

0:25:17.5 KR: Yeah, I think some of them are waiting. Some of them, when we think about professional judgment, to me, what it’s really saying, if you boil it down to it, is that the federal government is recognizing that using prior year and using the data elements that are used on the FAFSA don’t always accurately capture a family’s true financial situation, especially in the middle of a pandemic. And so they’re trying to say, schools, we really want you to take advantage of what we’ve given you, which is this professional judgment authority to adjust a family’s data on their FAFSA to maximize their eligibility for federal financial aid. And when it comes to unemployment, the department has specifically issued guidance that says you can feel free, if you have documentation that a family is unemployed or a parent is unemployed, you can zero out their income. Now, the common practice is, instead of using the prior prior year, colleges will use the projected year of income.

0:26:20.3 KR: So in the beginning of the pandemic, what we were hearing from colleges was, well, we have people submitting appeals, but we’re not taking much action because the projected year income hasn’t changed that much because the unemployment benefits are generous or whatever it might have been, but what the department is saying now is no, you can zero out income as long as you have documentation that a parent is unemployed. So to me, that combined with the FAFSA Simplification Act, where they’ve said, schools must do professional judgment, is telling me we’re in an environment where colleges should take advantage of this. And by that, I mean really step back and assess what are you doing for professional judgment, what are your communications, how does your website look? Where is your special circumstance form buried? Is it on a forums page or is it on a special page dedicated to the topic of… You filled out the FAFSA, your family situation has changed now, what do you do? So, I could go on for quite a while about professional judgment, but I might stop right now.

0:27:22.0 KM: No, it’s helpful and it’s especially with the past year in mind, you could see how it’s not always as clear as a black and white, “This person lost a job, this parent didn’t.” I’m thinking about maybe students or parents who support themselves by driving Uber, who maybe haven’t lost a job because they’re contractors, but have a more difficult time getting rides because fewer people are taking Ubers in the pandemic environment. There’s a whole world of grey space there that… Yeah, even if there’s no clear… The education department can’t issue guidance on every specific situation, at least encouraging financial aid offices to have policies and be intentional in their thinking here.

0:28:02.2 KR: Yeah. And don’t get me… This is a lot of work. I mean, I do wanna recognize here that taking this… Having to do more professional judgments, which we all have had to do during difficult economic times, it is a lot more work, it has the potential to cost more institutional money, of course, ’cause sometimes you have to step back and assess, what can the institution commit to these changes and circumstances that our families are experiencing? And that’s an important institutional conversation to have as well, because if on the one hand, you’re telling the Financial Aid office, well you have to do more professional judgments and the government’s not gonna audit you for it, but as an institution, you have to also be able to support them in that, both in staffing, but in funding that might need to be available for families who need it. And it comes back, I think, to Jackson’s comment about access, and this is an opportunity, but you do need to take an institutional approach and think about, maybe if you have funds that have been freed up because of the institutional portion of the relief funding, maybe you can commit a little bit more to institutional financial aid for the families that need it, ’cause we all have a lot of zero EFC students who have unmet financial need, so.

0:29:17.1 KM: I think that’s as good a place as any to end just grounding all of this in our missions as higher ed institutions and the federal government’s aim in supporting students and their families in greatest need here. Before we close, question for both of you, is this the last federal relief package? Are we going to be doing this podcast again this summer? Help me set our listeners’ expectations here.

0:29:43.5 JN: I think for the moment, we probably have to assume that this is the last one, there’s not a political appetite really right now or political pathway within Congress to pass another sweeping relief measure that we’ve seen so far. There’s growing deficit caucuses, in Congress in particular, right now about spending more money at this scale, and the conversation politically has shifted from what we would call Plastic Relief Measures to more of these broader recovery economic development measures. Most emblematic, of course, is the Build Back Better plan or The American Jobs plan that’s currently working its way through Congress right now, so that has higher education provisions, but it mostly skews towards community colleges, and definitely not a lot of aid there provided to our regional private institutions by any means, for example. So I think the sweeping HEERF IV right now doesn’t seem likely in the works, now that could change, should the pandemic unfortunately go in another direction or there be clear needed disruption maybe this fall, but for the time being, I think we should say this is probably our last measure and therefore treat it as strategically as possible, both on the student aid front and the institutional aid with that in mind.

0:30:47.3 KM: Right. Well, not to say that partners shouldn’t be thinking about the federal policy environment, we’re still expecting a lot of changes this year around free college proposals, around changes to Title IX regulations, around changes to regulation of non-degree credentials, we are staying on top of all of these policy matters, please to all of our listeners, check out our resources on for more information on HEERF III as well as any other policy proposals that come out across the coming weeks and months. But Jackson and Kathy, thank you so much for joining us today and for all of the work that you’re doing supporting our partners through a busy time and a pretty complex decision-making environment.

0:31:30.3 JN: My pleasure, thank you, Kaitlyn.

0:31:33.4 KR: Great to be here. Thanks, Kaitlyn.


0:31:41.5 Speaker 1: Thanks for listening. Be sure to join us next week when our guests examine a problem common to virtually every university and college in America, the problem is the digital sprawl of disparate IT systems that have spread like weeds across college campuses over the past 30 years. Our guests will share tips on how to develop a more coherent and deliberate digital strategy for the years ahead. Until then, thanks for listening to Office Hours with EAB.


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