NIRSA’s Government Affairs Committee stays up-to-date on the latest federal and state policy and legislative news through a variety of scanning tools. One particular resource they use is the bi-weekly Policy Pages provided by Active Policy Solutions. (For more on partnership, along with other SAHEC associations, have with Active Policy Solutions, see below.)

The policy issues included in the Policy Pages document are highlights of a point in time. They are by no means exhaustive and change continually – so matters discussed in the last issue normally will not carry over to the next unless there is some updated action to be discussed.

The Committee encourages NIRSA members to keep themselves informed on federal and state policy issues affecting their work as professionals on campuses. These issues could be specific to higher education, physical activity, or NIRSA’s strategic value areas. If you have an issue that is of concern to your campus, reach out the Government Affairs Committee.

Policy Page documents will be stored, as a resource for NIRSA members, in the NIRSA Connect Community library. You can find them within the “Member Benefits” folder in a subfolder titled “Federal and State Policy Pages.”

Full SAHEC Policy Pages

In this issue:

Government Updates

Federal Education

  • College student loan payments restart plan weighed by the Biden Administration according to POLITICO
  • Pell Grant expansion for incarcerated students topic of US Department of Education subcommittee meeting according to POLITICO
  • International college student flexibility urged by college groups
  • Colleges with federal contracts consider President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine order according to Inside Higher Ed
  • College admissions can consider race at University of North Carolina according to federal judge
  • Colleges and schools called on to address student mental health toll as a result of COVID-19 by the US Departments of Education and Justice
  • Supporting student mental health during COVID-19 new resource released by the US Department of Education
  • Sex-based harassment in schools or colleges subject of US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights blog post
  • College towns plan to challenge results of 2020 census due students leaving campus during the count due to COVID-19 campus closures reports AP News

Federal Health

  • COVID-19 vaccine and testing requirements action plan ordered by President Biden under final revision
  • College students’ prevention and treatment of anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts guide released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Federal Legislation

  • Higher Education Mental Health Act to be reintroduced

State News


  • California community college transfer to University of California and California State University easing bill signed into law
  • California college funding, specifically Cal Grant, access expanding bill vetoed
  • California LA community college district affordable housing pilot program bill signed into law


  • Georgia University Regents approve controversial tenure policy changes according to Inside Higher Ed


  • Massachusetts college hunger-free campus initiative bill hearing held
  • Massachusetts college student religious accommodations during exams bill hearing held

New York

  • New York college students with disabilities support and services bill introduced


  • COVID-19 updates in colleges
  • University files lawsuit against insurer for COVID-19 related losses according to Higher Ed Dive


  • Name, image, likeness interim policy adopted by the NCAA
  • Female college athletes are capitalizing on NIL according to editorial in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Health & Wellness

  • College students are struggling with mental health as COVID-19 continues according to the Washington Post
  • College student mental health service needs are on the rise on college campuses according to Inside Higher Ed
  • College students Texas abortion ban affects reported on by Inside Higher Ed
  • COVID-19 vaccine study on veterans shows decline in protection rates

Full SAHEC Policy Pages

About NIRSA’s partnership with Active Policy Solutions

As an association, NIRSA strives to monitor and track policy and legislative issues with the potential to impact our members or the campus communities they serve. These issues are wide ranging and may pertain to higher education, employment law, physical fitness, or our strategic values areas.

NIRSA has joined with a subset of SAHEC members (ACUHO-I, ACPA, ASCA, NASPA, and NIRSA) in hiring Active Policy Solutions to assist with monitoring, tracking, analyzing, and determining appropriate action on issues relevant to our associations. Through our partnership with SAHEC, NIRSA continues to monitor policy, legislation, and advocacy work that affects both the higher education and physical activity space. Active Policy Solutions provides government relations and advocacy support to NIRSA and the Association’s SAHEC partners.

  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships Erin O’Sullivan.
Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at | NIRSA Profile

Erin O'Sullivan is currently the Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at NIRSA.