NASFAA Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo participants are encouraged to participate in meetings with their respective delegations in the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill. Having financial aid professionals engage in personal interactions with members of Congress and staff delivers the on-the-ground perspectives necessary for policymakers to make informed decisions.
Please note, congressional offices are not currently scheduling in-person meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the congressional office buildings have opened to the public by the time of the conference, we would like to be able to take attendees to the Hill for scheduled meetings. If that continues to be an impossibility, we will explore options for registrants to conduct Hill visits virtually, whether during or after the conference. NASFAA will continue to monitor visitor restrictions at the U.S. Capitol Complex and will provide updates related to the Capitol Hill visits on this webpage.
This year, the Capitol Hill Day will occur on Wednesday, February 16, as the final, optional day of the NASFAA Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo. Participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation to the Capitol Hill complex and for scheduling their own meetings with their respective congressional offices. Hill meetings should take place between 8:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. NASFAA staff will lead a Hill Visit Debrief from 1:00–2:00 p.m. at the Mayflower Hotel. The debrief is optional, so feel free to schedule additional meetings in the afternoon if your schedule permits.
Participants should schedule their own Capitol Hill meetings. If at all possible, attempt to coordinate with other members of your state. Participants are encouraged to schedule at least three meetings: one with their Representative and one with each of their Senators. As we get closer to the conference, please check this webpage periodically for updates on visitor restrictions at the U.S. Capitol Complex and guidance on when to begin scheduling meetings with congressional offices. Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions.
Contact information for Representatives and Senators can be found here:
We suggest that you first call the office contact number provided through the respective links above and request the email address of the scheduler. Then, email your meeting request to the scheduler (sample email provided) and follow up with a phone call. In your message, identify yourself as a constituent and explain that you would like to speak to the legislator about financial aid and higher education issues the morning of Wednesday, February 16.
If the legislator does not have time on his or her schedule that day, ask to meet with the legislative aide that handles education issues. Some offices are able to schedule appointments well in advance, while others prefer to wait until the week or two before the requested date, so be prepared to be flexible and patient. Some offices may also ask you to complete an online meeting request form before they enter your meeting request into the calendar. You will also have to be persistent with some offices, as they may not immediately respond to your request; several follow-up emails or phone calls may be necessary.
Please note: These meetings can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a full hour, so you may want to give yourself an hour for each meeting to be on the safe side. In addition, please allot at least 30 minutes between meetings on the House and Senate sides of the Capitol Complex to allow for time to get from one appointment to the next.
Having your appointment schedule helps us to prepare sufficient materials for your Hill meetings. If you have trouble scheduling your appointments, email NASFAA's Policy staff at [email protected] for assistance.
The dress for the Capitol Hill day is business attire. We also encourage you to bring an umbrella, comfortable shoes (many people wear sneakers or other comfortable shoes to enter the buildings, and then switch into their dress shoes after going through the metal detectors), and a camera to take photos with your legislators. Security is tight at the Capitol Hill complex (similar to airport security), so be sure to leave all other unnecessary items at home. Please note that any food, drink, or containers for food or drink (such as coffee mugs) are prohibited in the Capitol building.