Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations Updates

On July 15, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2022 Labor-HHS-Education (Labor-HHS-ED) spending bill by a vote of 33-25. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would receive $49.4 billion, $3 billion of which would be made available for the proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) initiative. The Department of Education would receive $102.8 billion in funding, and federal student aid eligibility would expand to include undocumented students who are protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The bill also provides $3.43 billion for higher education programs. Among the recipient programs, Title VI programs would receive $79.4 million; the Fulbright Hays program would receive $13.8 million; and Federal Work Study would receive $1.43 billion. Additionally, the bill would provide $102.3 million for the Strengthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions Program. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) would receive $7.5 billion, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would receive $10.6 billion, an increase of $2.7 billion or 35 percent above the FY 2021 enacted level.

Also, on July 15, the House Appropriations Committee passed the FY22 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) funding bill, which would provide $9.6 billion for the National Science Foundation. During the week of July 26, both the Labor-HHS-ED and CJS bills are expected to be considered on the House floor in a seven-bill package, according to a Dear Colleague Letter released by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on July 15.

Department of Education Releases Title IX Guidance

On July 20, the Department of Education released new guidance on the changes to Title IX regulations that were implemented in 2020 through a blog post titled, Next Steps in OCR’s Comprehensive Review of Title IX Actions: A New Q&A and the Public Hearing Transcript. The blog post includes a Q&A resource explaining how the Office of Civil Rights interprets the 2020 amendments. The guidance is intended to help schools navigate the updates to Title IX issued in 2020 under the Trump administration while the agency oversees a comprehensive review of the regulations. Please note that the Q&A resource link is currently broken; we anticipate the agency will update this, and an embargo copy is available, via Politico.


The blog post also includes a transcript of the five-day virtual hearings the department’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) held on Title IX in June 2020.  Among the topics discussed in the public hearings, stakeholders testified on the department’s role in ensuring that schools provide a fair and equitable resolution to reports of sex discrimination and fairly address discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Following a June 16 notice from OCR that protects students from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity under Title IX, the department released a resource guide that provides examples of the types of cases that would be under OCR jurisdiction. The resource guide references the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division’s March 2020 memorandum that says sexual orientation and gender identity are protected under Title IX regulations.

USCIS Releases New Guidance on Changes for F-1 Visa Filing

On July 20, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced new policy guidance that streamlines the F-1 visa application process, eliminating the need to apply for change or extension of nonimmigrant status while a student’s initial F-1 change of status application is pending. Previous policy required applicants to file extensions to maintain status up to 30 days before their program start date to avoid a “gap” in status. USCIS will grant the change of status in F-1 effective on the day the applicant’s Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status is approved. If an application is approved more than 30 days before the student’s program start date, the applicant must not violate their F-1 status during that time. A violation could include engaging in employment more than 30 days before the program start date. The new policy is intended to reduce the efforts and workloads necessary for student applicants and USCIS processing staff when filing for F-1 visas. For more information, see the policy alert and the Changing to a Nonimmigrant F or M Student Status page.


CGS continues to monitor and advocate for updated guidance and processes for international students’ and scholars’ return to campuses in fall 2021. On July 20, CGS joined a community letter to the Department of State regarding the current travel restrictions due to COVID-19 and seeking clarification on the national interest exemption (NIE).

Texas Court Decision on DACA

On July 16, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the Department of Homeland Security violated the Administrative Procedure Act through the establishment and continued administration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The decision puts an indefinite freeze on initial (new) applications, though it will continue to process renewals and applications for advance parole for current recipients. The judge acknowledged that Congress can lawfully establish the program. On July 17, President Biden released a statement confirming the Department of Justice plans to appeal the Texas ruling and the Department of Homeland Security plans to issue a proposed rule concerning DACA.


CGS members can leverage an advocacy toolkit for institutions from one of our partners in Washington, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration as well as a CGS policy brief that reviews the impact DACA has on higher education, the legal challenges the program has faced, and a call to action for a legislative solution protecting the program. The Council continues to advocate for a legislative solution to fortify and protect DACA.

NIH Holds Listening Sessions on Proposed ARPA-H Initiative

On July 22, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy began a series of listening sessions to gain feedback about the president’s proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) initiative. These organized listening sessions aim to gather feedback from patient advocacy groups, industry, scientific professional organizations, and other stakeholders on the program. Running from July through August 2021, the format of the sessions will vary from public discussions to invitation-only meetings on more sensitive issues. For details on session topics and dates, visit the NIH ARPA-H webpage.