Advocating for Independent Colleges and Universities
AICUM is the leading policy voice on behalf of independent colleges and universities in Massachusetts. AICUM is committed to advocating before the Governor and Legislature for increased funding for need-based financial aid programs that benefit all students in the Commonwealth.
Each legislative session, AICUM works with its member institutions to develop its legislative priorities and to identify those bills and issues that AICUM will be engaged on through the two-year legislative session. Below, please find AICUM’s key priorities for the 2013-2014 legislative session.
1. Increase funding for need-based financial aid scholarship programs– AICUM will continue to seek increases to need-based financial aid programs (MassGrant and Gilbert Grant) that are funded through line-item 7070-0065 of the annual state budget. These need-based programs provide aid to Massachusetts students (and their families) who want to stay in the Commonwealth to attend college.
2. Amend the Academic Program Approval Process – A priority this year is for AICUM to pursue a legislative solution that seeks to amend the academic program approval process so that all non-profit, private colleges in Massachusetts can respond to the academic needs of their students in a more innovative and less costly manner.
3. Maintain Support for the Tax-Exempt Status of Qualified Non-Profit Colleges and Universities– AICUM will seek to defend the tax-exempt status of non-profit colleges and universities in the Commonwealth, ensuring that these charitable, non-profit organizations are able to focus their institutional resources on educating the workforce of tomorrow, providing the financial aid that will make college more affordable to all who wish to pursue a college degree,
4. Incentives for Saving for College– AICUM will seek to advance legislative that would provide Massachusetts taxpayers with an income tax deduction or exemption for money invested in higher education, whether through charitable donations, contributions to college savings or 529 Plans, or expenses incurred in pursuing a college education.
5. Support Research and Innovation Funding – AICUM will continue to support legislation that seeks to create new funding opportunities and a more fertile environment for the Commonwealth, non-profits, and the business community to collaborative on research and innovation. We will support legislative that builds upon last session’s $50 million Scientific Technology Research and Development Matching Grant Fund for colleges and universities, as well as other non-profit research entitie