APSCU’s Hill Day will take place March 3-4, 2015 at the Liaison Capitol Hill in Washington, DC – this year it is taking place adjacent to the APSCU Symposium March 2-3, 2015. Whether you have attended several Hill Days or this is your first time, here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers.
What is Hill Day?
Annually, APSCU hosts a Hill Day event in our nation’s capital. Hundreds of representatives from our member institutions along with their students, alumni, employer advocates and other third-party partners participate in presentations, followed by visits with their elected officials on Capitol Hill. These visits with members of Congress and congressional staff members provide an opportunity to educate them on the role our institutions play within the higher education sector.
What are the typical Hill Day events and activities?
During Hill Day, our member institutions participate in committee meetings, attend presentations and briefings, and then culminate with meetings with members of Congress.
Who from my institution should attend Hill Day?
APSCU member institution faculty and staff are welcome to attend. In addition to staff, we strongly encourage member institutions to invite and bring advocates that can provide validation of the institution’s value such as students, alumni, employers and community partners.
Do I have to attend Symposium being held on March 2-3, to participate in the congressional meetings on March 4th?
We strongly encourage you to attend the Symposium and Hill Day events. The presentations are designed to prepare you for your Hill visits, provide important background information on our policy asks, and give you an opportunity to network with your peers.
What is the main policy "ask" for the Hill Day Congressional visits?
This year, registered Hill Day attendees will be focused on the impact of the gainful employment regulation and Higher Education Act Reauthorization policy recommendations. In preparation for their congressional visits, each attendee will receive background information and talking points on the abovementioned points.
Will APSCU schedule visits with members of Congress on my behalf?
Yes. If you are an APSCU education member institution, we will work to schedule meetings with your Representative or Senators. To identify your members of Congress per campus location please visit APSCU’s Grassroots Advocacy Resource Center. Then indicate those members of Congress on your registration form. Schedules fill-up quickly, so we recommend you register as soon as possible for Hill Day.
Please note, the deadline for requesting APSCU’s assistance in scheduling meetings for educational institutions is closed.
However, if you have questions regarding setting up congressional meetings please contact Kristine Gager via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 202.336.6714.
In addition, please indicate the names of students, alumni and employers that will be joining you during your congressional Hill Day office visits. This is important, as we must supply a list of attendees to the member’s scheduler in advance of the meeting.
Lastly, please indicate your arrival and departure information on your registration form so we can do our best to schedule an appointment on your behalf.
I’m an Allied Member. Will APSCU schedule Congressional meetings on my behalf?
APSCU submits congressional meeting requests for our education member institutions. However, as an Allied Member we do welcome you to participate in Hill Day by either scheduling your own meetings or working with an APSCU education member institution that you have a relationship with to join them in their meetings.
When will know who I am meeting with?
A detailed schedule of who you will be meeting with will be provided in your packet when you check-in at the registration desk. However, if you need an advance copy of your schedule, with the understanding that times are subject to change, contact APSCU’s Kristine Gager via email at email@example.com.
Please note that your guests (students, alumni, employers or other advocates) will not receive packets.
Do I need to register?
Yes. Even though registration is free, we still need attendees to register in advance so we can get accurate counts for meals as well as produce name badges and information packets.
Are employers, students and alumni responsible for registering themselves?
No. If you have invited a student, alumni and/or an employer, your institution is responsible for registering them with APSCU via the online registration form. On the form, please indicate that the person registered is a guest of your institution.
The registration form looks different this year. Who do I contact if I have any questions?
In an attempt to streamline the registration process, the form has changed. Before submitting your registration form, APSCU’s Kristine Gager can answer any questions you have about the process. She can be reached at 202.336.6714 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I need to cancel my registration for Hill Day. How do I do that?
If you are unable to attend Hill Day, and especially if you’ve requested our assistance in scheduling congressional meetings, please contact APSCU’s Kristine Gager at email@example.com.
What dates should I arrive and depart? What airport do you recommend?
The official Hill Day event starts on Tuesday, March 3rd with lunch and ends on Wednesday, March 4th. Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) is the closest to the hotel.
What should I do to prepare for Hill Day?
You should be prepared to provide basic information about your organization:
- History and overview of your institution(s)
- A list of all the programs offered at your institution(s)
- Admissions overview
- Tuition and fees
- Services offered (student services, job placement help, etc.)
- Students (current and graduated), faculty and employer testimonials
- Awards/recognition received
- Most importantly, quantify the difference your institution makes to the community. These numbers should be included in the abovementioned documents as well as talking points in your discussion with the official.
- What is the current enrollment (breakout students by gender, race and age)?
- How many students have graduated from the institution?
- What is the job placement rate?
- How many local businesses employ your graduates and/or provide internships? Quantify the economic impact.
- What are your financial aid statistics?
- Describe your institution’s enrollment process.
Tips for Successful Meetings with Your Elected Official
Remember that most Hill visits are brief (15-20 minutes) and often with a legislative staffer who is responsible for education issues. Therefore, plan on making no more than three key points, using examples and, if you brought an employer and/or a student/alumni, give these advocates time to talk.
Be Prepared and Concise
Review and rehearse the key points you want to make.
Be on Time
But don’t be surprised if the members of Congress and/or their staff are not on time. Congressional schedules are hectic; therefore you need to be flexible and patient. If APSCU has scheduled your meetings, we work to accommodate for the unexpected. If you are running late for your next appointment, call that office to let them know. The office phone numbers for each meeting are included on your schedule, which can be found in your information packet.
Answer their questions, but if you can’t, let them know you will get back to them with the information and follow-up.
Thank your elected official or the congressional staff person and following the meeting send a thank you note to the person you met with. In your thank you note, consider mentioning an open invitation to visit your campus when the member of Congress is back in the district/state.
Please complete the feedback form that APSCU provides to let us know how your congressional visits went, what was discussed and what we can do to improve on our annual Hill Day event.
This is my first time attending Hill Day. Do you have any tips for me?
Here are some tips and tricks from the APSCU staff:
- Bring plenty of business cards
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Carry a bottle of water and small snacks with you (banana, granola bar, trail mix)
- Tour Washington, D.C.’s many historical sites (schedule permitting)
Still have questions about Hill Day? Contact APSCU's Government Relations Program Specialist Kristine Gager at 202.336.6714 or via email.