Mr. Tony Mazzaschi, ASPPH senior director for policy and research, presented at the annual meeting of the Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) on March 20. The 60th annual meeting of the organization had as its theme, “Graduate Education in a Changing Landscape.”
Mr. Mazzaschi participated in a session titled, “Why the Election Matters: Navigating Uncertainty in Graduate Education.” He was joined in presenting by Dr. Ewan Branda, professor, school of Architecture, Woodbury University, and Mr. Robert Ruiz, Vice President of Strategic Enrollment, Liaison International.
Mr. Mazzaschi discussed the current Federal political environment before considering specific policy issues. He provided an update on various immigration issues, including the legal status of the Trump Administration’s proposed travel ban, Congressional efforts to overturn the Trump Administration’s threatened ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and the expected regulatory effort to tighten the eligibility of F-1 visa holders in science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields to obtain an extended Optional Practical Training (OPT) period. He also detailed some of the issues being considered as part of the Higher Education Act reauthorization, including efforts to abolish the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Mr. Mazzaschi concluded by discussing various tax and finance issues that have the potential to negatively affect the financial stability of colleges and universities.