U H Manoa University Registrar Pheng (Max) Xiong

Having Congressional leaders and their staff understand the important issues and actions happening around higher education is a critical part of what the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) does each year with its Congressional Hill Day. This year, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa University Registrar Pheng (Max) Xiong spent time with those in the offices of Hawaiʻi’s Senate and House representatives.

Xiong was one of 32 AACRAO advocates who met virtually on July 20–22 with congressional aides and shared their practitioner perspective on how federal policy impacts those who work in the higher education community. This year’s discussions focused on AACRAO’s top legislative priorities, including supporting the Reverse Transfer Efficiency Act, urging the doubling of the maximum Pell Grant award, advocating for updates to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and protecting Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status recipients.

“I met and had very good discussions via Zoom with the legislative assistants for Sen. Mazie Hirono and Sen. Brian Schatz,” said Xiong. “I expressed how support for the bill [Reverse Transfer Efficiency Act] could potentially help 12,945 students in Hawaiʻi obtain their associates degree.”

AACRAO is a non-profit, voluntary, professional association of more than 11,000 higher education professionals who represent approximately 2,600 institutions in more than 40 countries. Its mission is to provide professional development, guidelines and voluntary standards to be used by higher education officials regarding the best practices in records management, admissions, enrollment management, administrative information technology and student services.