While college presidents often meet with federal officials to discuss these issues, this meeting has been deemed unusual, as it was announced at the last minute and will be held behind closed doors with Obama. And it is happening at a crucial time, as student loan debt is poised to hit $1 trillion, administrators and coaches are paid hefty salaries and students occupy their campuses in protest.

Obama pauses during a speech on his jobs bill at the University of Richmond in September. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

The short guest list has not been publicly released, but Insider Higher Ed (which broke this story last week) has cobbled together its own list that includes the leaders of three state university systems (University System of Maryland, State University of New York and University of Texas System), three public universities (University of Maryland at Baltimore County, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and California State University at Long Beach), one community college system (Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana) and three private colleges (Carnegie Mellon University, Berea College and Western Governors University).