NASFAA Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo participants are encouraged to participate in meetings with their elected officials in the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill. With reauthorization on the horizon, having financial aid professionals meet with members of Congress and staff to provide an on-the-ground perspective is more important than ever.
This year, the Capitol Hill Day occurred on Wednesday, February 27, in conjunction with the NASFAA Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to the Capitol Hill complex. Your Hill meetings should take place between 8:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. From 1:00-2:00 p.m., NASFAA staff will lead a Hill Visit Debrief at the Washington Hilton. The debrief is optional, so feel free to schedule additional meetings in the afternoon if your schedule permits.
Participants must 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. You are encouraged to begin scheduling your meetings as soon as possible.
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 27.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
The dress for the Capitol Hill Day is business attire. We also encourage you to bring an umbrella, comfortable shoes (many women wear sneakers or flip-flops 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.