Feb. 6-7, 2024
Washington, DC

AASCU on the Hill

Join AASCU for our second ever in-person Hill Day and make your voice heard in the halls of Congress! Your institution’s voice can help shift the needle on key federal policy priorities for regional comprehensive universities (RCUs).

Learn more.
AASCU on the Hill

Meet in person with your federal delegation. 

Now more than ever, members of Congress need to hear from constituents and local stakeholders. As critical federal policies in higher education remain at risk for cuts or elimination (as we saw in the FY24 budget negotiations), your advocacy is needed to educate and engage members of Congress on the challenges facing your institution and student populations. Soon after the start of the 118th Congress’s second session, AASCU on the Hill 2024 will take place at a most opportune moment to weigh in on federal policy discussions.

The 118th Congress has been increasingly challenging to the development of federal policies that support public higher education. The leadership of RCUs must increase their engagement with federal elected officials to raise awareness and understanding of the specific challenges faced by your institution and enrolled students. The combination of the start of the second congressional session and the general elections later in the year provides a pivotal opportunity to gain increased support for these important institutions.

What can advocates expect Feb. 6–7, 2024?

Join your peers for the 2024 AASCU on the Hill event and have an impact in the development of the following important policy issues:

  • A new Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill in the House of Representatives
  • Helping mitigate deep federal funding cuts proposals
  • Making the case to strengthen the federal-state partnership
  • Increasing awareness and support for educator preparation programs

Share your expertise and unique insights to help educate your federal delegation on the complexities of modern higher education institutions; the diversity and makeup of today’s students; as well as the innovative approaches, recommendations, and challenges in the advancement of your organizations’ mission.

President Jim Wohlpart and Andrew Morse and Alethia Miller from Central Washington University meet with Rep. Kim Schrier (D-WA).
President Jim Wohlpart, Andrew Morse, and Alethia Miller from Central Washington University meet with Rep. Kim Schrier (D-WA).

Who should attend?

  • Presidents and chancellors 
  • System presidents and chancellors 
  • Government relations/public affairs staff
  • Student leaders on campus invited by campus leadership 

Benefits of participation?

  • Meet directly with the offices of your senators and representatives
  • Get briefed on the latest news and actions on Capitol Hill
  • Utilize practical materials, trainings, and resources for meeting talking points, suggestions, and advocacy best practices
  • Network and connect with other AASCU presidents/chancellors and share knowledge and best practices
Rep. Marc Molinaro (D-NY) with President Alberto Cardelle and student Matthew Rodriquez-Jenkins from SUNY Ononta.
Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY) with President Alberto Cardelle and student Matthew Rodriquez-Jenkins from SUNY Oneonta.
Assistant Secretary of Education Nasser Paydar addresses the attendees of AASCU on the Hill 2023.
Assistant Secretary of Education Nasser Paydar addresses the attendees of AASCU on the Hill 2023.
President Heidi Anderson and James Mathias of University of Maryland Eastern Shore with Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
President Heidi Anderson and James Mathias of University of Maryland Eastern Shore with Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
Program Highlights

AASCU on the Hill offers information and action.  

Topics of focus include the development of public policies that strengthen the federal-state partnership opportunities, why the nation needs to invest in doubling the maximum value of the Pell Grant Program, the need to communicate the benefits of diversifying the educator pipeline and protecting recent gains in federal appropriations in public higher education.

In preparation for congressional office visits, participants will engage with knowledgeable speakers offering the latest information about the latest actions on Capitol Hill, what to expect during congressional meetings, a briefing on the key federal policy priorities, the outlook for federal funding in FY25, as well as suggested talking points for use on the Hill.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) meets with delegates from CUNY and SUNY campuses.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) meets with delegates from CUNY and SUNY campuses.


Hill Meetings

Hill Meeting Scheduling: Attendees are responsible for scheduling meetings with their congressional delegation: one member of the U.S. House of Representatives and both U.S. Senate offices. Meetings should preferably be scheduled between 10 am – 5 pm on Wednesday, February 7th. For those attendees requiring assistance, AASCU Government Relations staff stand ready to assist with any scheduling needs.


Most meetings in Capitol Hill offices are scheduled for only 20-25 minutes. AASCU recommends asking for a meeting with your elected official AND their legislative assistant covering higher education policy issues. Attendees should determine the necessary travel time between meeting locations and take that into account when scheduling meetings between both sides of Capitol Hill. We recommend, at least 30 minutes to get from the House to the Senate or vice-versa.”

Please reach out to AASCU Government Relations staff if you require assistance in scheduling any meetings. We encourage you to share any time constraints, additional requests, or previously scheduled meetings you may have via email. You can contact our team at govrel@aascu.org.

  • Tips for Before and After Your Meeting
  • Hill Meeting Do’s and Don’ts
  • Advocating Before a Divided Congress
Watch training videos.
Schedule at a glance

All event sessions and meals will be held at the Washington Marriott Capitol Hill hotel.

12:30–1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30–1:45 p.m. Welcome and Introduction of AASCU’s New President
The opening session will provide the membership the opportunity to meet and hear for the first time from AASCU’s new president about the association’s policy priorities and the work being done to support RCUs before Congress and the administration. Participants will also hear about the vital work of civic learning and democratic engagement done by AASCU’s American Democracy Project.

  • Heidi Anderson, President, University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • Charles L. Welch, President and CEO, AASCU
1:45–2:15 p.m. Federal Appropriations Update

  • Sarah Abernathy, Executive Director, Committee for Education Funding
2:15–3:15 p.m. The Future of Educator Preparation Policies
Join this session to hear the various federal policy proposals in Congress to strengthen and diversify schools of education and the key role that leaders at RCUs must play in defense of them. Panelists will also discuss how current HEA related proposals will affect how these important schools operate and how they are to be funded.

  • Moira Lenehan-Razzuri, Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Mark A. Nook, President, University of Northern Iowa
  • Michael Yudin, Principal, The Raben Group
3:15–3:30 p.m. Break
3:30–4:30 p.m. National Student Clearinghouse-Current Term Enrollment Estimates: Fall 2023

  • Jeremy Cohen, Research Associate, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center
4:30–5:30 p.m. Conversation with Department of Education 
We will be joined by Roberto Rodríguez from the U.S. Department of Education who will share the department’s implementation of the new simplified FAFSA and President Biden’s FY 25 budget submission to Congress.

  • Roberto Rodríguez, Assistant Secretary of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, U.S. Department of Education
5:30-7 p.m. Reception (event hotel)


8–8:45 a.m. Breakfast
8:45–9:30 a.m. Final Charge
Join your friends and colleagues for breakfast and some parting words of wisdom as everyone prepares for their congressional visits. Presenters will share an update on the latest policy happenings in Congress and what can be expected during the Capitol Hill visits.

  • John Patrick Walsh, Director of Federal Relations and Policy Analysis, AASCU
  • Kiersten Wills, Government Relations Division Coordinator, AASCU
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Capitol Hill visits
Amy Díaz, Chief of Staff under Chancellor Iwama at Indiana University Northwest, meets with Rep. Frank Mrvan (D-IN).
Amy Díaz, Chief of Staff under Chancellor Iwama at Indiana University Northwest, meets with Rep. Frank Mrvan (D-IN).

“The AASCU on the Hill event was great. The speakers and panelists did a nice job of summarizing key federal policies and issues, providing helpful tips and tactics, and reminding attendees of the “why” behind the event, always grounding us in the significance of our mission as regional comprehensive universities. The meetings with federal legislators went very well, and the involvement of our amazing student leaders was particularly inspiring.

The event was the right mix of policy, learning, networking, engagement, and advocacy. And the D.C. weather cooperated perfectly!”

Joseph Bain

General Counsel
Fort Hays State University (KS)

“I am so glad I could be a part of AASCU’s inaugural “Day on the Hill.” Advocacy at the federal level has been uncharted territory, however, the day before prep and the chance to share with colleagues from other parts of the country provided just the right boost for this initial effort. Time will tell if we made an impact, but talking with our elected officials in this setting was a positive experience. Thanks to AASCU for making it happen.”

Jennie Rose

Governmental Affairs Officer
Fort Hays State University (KS)

Join us in February and make your voice heard.

Register now.

Registration Fees
Attendee type  Early Bird Rate
(before Nov. 24)
Regular Rate
(After Nov. 24)
Member Presidents, Chancellors, 
Government Relations staff 
$250 $350
Nonmember Presidents, Chancellors, 
Government Relations staff 
$500 $700
Students  Complimentary Complimentary



Washington Marriott Capitol HillWashington Marriott Capitol Hill
175 L St NE Washington, DC 20002

The hotel cutoff of January 22 has passed; however, should registrants need assistance reserving accommodations at the Marriott Capitol Hill, please contact Danita Young.

Note: the group rate may or may not be available; thus, the hotel may accept reservation requests based on availability and at market rates.

AASCU is committed to the health, safety and well-being of all attendees at our gatherings. We follow all local rules and CDC guidance and closely monitor conditions related to COVID-19 and other public health emergencies. Attendees at all AASCU events agree to adhere to the following health and safety protocols.

Before leaving home   

  • AASCU strongly encourages all participants to be fully vaccinated. The CDC Vaccines website provides definitions of “Fully Vaccinated” and “Up To Date”. 
  • Stay home if you feel unwell or have any COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.  We recommend attendees wear masks while traveling to and from the event and follow COVID-19 safety practices in the days leading up to the event. 
  • We strongly encourage attendees to take a rapid antigen COVID-19 test before traveling and before arriving to AASCU convenings.

Onsite during the event  

  • Masks are recommended and will be available at the registration desk. 
  • If you are experiencing cold or COVID-19 symptoms please be respectful and wear a mask.  
  • Self-administered COVID-19 rapid antigen tests will be available at the registration desk. We encourage participants test themselves upon arrival before joining the conference. 
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol  
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands  
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Throw used tissues in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes. 
  • If you feel unwell, develop symptoms of COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19 at any time during the convening, seek medical care and do not attend the meals or gatherings.  
  • If you test positive during the conference, please notify AASCU staff by emailing meetings@aascu.org.  

AASCU reserves the right to modify these policies and procedures at any time given the rapidly changing nature of any current and ongoing public health emergencies. 

Unfortunately we will not be able to issue refunds for this event should your schedule change.

All meetings and conferences sponsored by AASCU are inclusive and accessible to all individuals, including individuals with disabilities. Please request accessibility services when you register and contact us if you need auxiliary aids or services.

Request services.

By participating in an AASCU conference, you are automatically authorizing AASCU to use your name, photograph, voice, or another likeness for purposes related to the mission of AASCU, including but not limited to publicity, marketing, websites, social media vehicles, and any other AASCU-related electronic forms or media for the promotion of AASCU and its various programs.

Sorry, we are not accepting inquiries about partnerships for this event at this time. Please visit our Partners page to explore other opportunities to support AASCU programming.

AASCU on the Hill Partner

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