Cong. Roskam Meets with Northwestern College Staff to Discuss Higher Education Issues
Northwestern College was pleased to announce that this week its Director of Government Relations, Laura Pollastrini, met with US Congressman Peter Roskam [IL-06] to discuss various issues concerning higher education, particularly those issues affecting proprietary and family owned colleges here in Illinois. Traditional verses the “new traditional” college student, burgeoning student loans, and the continual flow of new regulations being promulgated by the US Department of Education were some of the topics raised.
While pointing out the differences in today’s college student, where the majority are no longer 18-22 year olds right out of high school, Pollastrini explained that today’s college students are working adults, parents, and returning students interested in completing degrees previously started or seeking to attain higher degrees – all while maintaining a job and supporting a family. Proprietary institutions and career colleges like Northwestern College, a 113 year old family owned institution, primarily serve these “new traditional” students, yet they are the same institutions that are being targeted with regulations not being applied to other sectors of higher education. A good deal of the discussion concerned the most recently finalized Gainful Employment Rule which will go into effect on July 1, 2015.
Congressman Roskam asked numerous questions during the meeting, noting that he has several higher education institutions within his district. When Pollastrini expressed Northwestern College’s support of pending legislation aiming to provide relief to both students and higher education institutions, that being The Supporting Academic Freedom Through Regulatory Relief Act, the Congressman was interested to learn that the legislation aims to reduce federal intrusion and protect student choice while simultaneously limiting the costly regulatory burden on today’s colleges and universities, a problem for all schools in his district.
“Congressman Roskam was generous with his time today, and eager to get insight on what’s happening in today’s higher education institutions,” Pollastrini noted. “The only way a Congressman can know how federal action affects colleges and businesses is to tell him, and to show him the numbers. We were grateful for the opportunity to do just that today.”