CECU's Hill Day will take place March 2018 in Arlington, VA. Whether you have attended several Hill Days or this is your first time, here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers.  

Basic Information

What is Hill Day?

CECU 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?

CECU 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.

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 CECU schedule visits with members of Congress on my behalf?

Yes. If you are an CECU 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 CECU’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 request your Hill Day Congressional appointments by February 23. 

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.

I’m an Allied Member. Will CECU schedule Congressional meetings on my behalf?

CECU 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 CECU 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.

Please note that your guests (students, alumni, employers or other advocates) will not receive packets. 

Do I need to register?

Yes. Registration for Hill Day will open Fall, 2017. 

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 CECU via the online registration form. On the form, please indicate that the person registered is a guest of your institution.  

Helpful Hints
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 CECU 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.  

Be Responsive

Answer their questions, but if you can’t, let them know you will get back to them with the information and follow-up.  

Be Appreciative

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. 

Provide Feedback

Please complete the feedback form that CECU 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 CECU 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)