On March 27, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (“Middle States”) released for public comment a draft policy on its expectations for honesty and truthfulness in published information and in student recruitment practices. Among other things, the policy would prohibit Middle States-accredited institutions from paying commissions to agents to recruit international students. Middle States
On 19 January, the U.S. Department of Education published regulations to establish procedural rules governing certain proceedings under the Department’s borrower defense regulations and to update the Department’s related hearing procedures for actions to establish liability against a higher education institution. The regulations were effective immediately on 19 January, but the Department will accept comments
On February 22, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice (“ED” and “DOJ,” respectively, and collectively, the “Departments”) issued a two-page Dear Colleague Letter to “withdraw and rescind” policy and guidance reflected in two documents issued by the Obama Administration. Those guidance documents interpreted Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) and its
On December 7, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education (“ED”) issued an Electronic Announcement providing guidance about the eligibility requirements that apply if a student wishes to receive a closed school discharge of a Title IV loan. In general, a student borrower may receive a discharge of a Title IV loan if the borrower (1)
On December 19, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education (“ED”) announced that following an 18-month review, it had denied Charlotte School of Law (“CSL”) recertification to participate in federal student financial aid programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. The denial ended CSL’s participation in the Title IV programs effective December 31, 2016.
On July 1, the U.S. Department of Education launched the Federal Student Aid Feedback System, an online portal that allows federal student aid customers to submit complaints, provide positive feedback, and report allegations of suspicious activity regarding the federal student aid programs. The Feedback System was identified as a primary objective of the “Student Aid Bill of Rights” proposed by President Obama in March of 2015.
This new feedback system is part of a larger effort by ED to enhance its oversight and enforcement capabilities with regards to student loan borrowing. Although it does not create any new requirements for institutions participating in the federal student financial aid programs, the feedback system will provide new avenues for customers to alert ED about potential compliance issues or misconduct.
On April 24, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released a three-document guidance package regarding the role and responsibility of Title IX coordinators. As summarized in a statement by Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, the guidance package emphasizes the responsibility of school districts, colleges, and universities to designate a
On June 24, the U.S. Department of Education further delayed the implementation date for certain state authorization regulations for colleges and universities that have been unable to meet the requirements of those regulations—so long as (1) the state in which the college or university is located is working to establish an acceptable authorization process that
On January 8, the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice issued a five-part Guidance Package to assist schools in meeting their obligations under Federal law to administer student discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The Departments
On November 22, 2013 the U.S. Department of Education (“ED”) released a Gainful Employment Disclosure Template (“GEDT”). ED regulations require institutions to use the GEDT to provide all required gainful employment disclosures. No later than January 31, 2014 institutions must use the output document that the GEDT generates to meet gainful employment disclosure requirements.
On September 20, the U.S. Department of Education published final regulations making technical amendments to its misrepresentation regulations. The amendments were a response to a U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decision, which held that the Department’s misrepresentation regulations exceeded its authority in three respects. The court vacated one provision and remanded two
On September 27, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published questions and answers on the Supreme Court’s decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. Fisher held that the University of Texas must affirmatively demonstrate that its consideration of race in admissions is necessary to achieve the educational benefits
On November 28, 2012, Russlyn Ali, the U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, held a telephone conference to discuss the Office for Civil Rights new report “Helping to Ensure Access to Equal Education”. The report summarizes OCR’s compliance and enforcement activities between 2009 and 2012. On the call and in the report,
On June 30, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision that vacated several of the provisions of the Gainful Employment (“GE”) regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Education (“ED”) in 2010 and 2011. In its decision in Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities v. Duncan, the court left
The U.S. Department of Education announced in the Federal Register that it plans to develop new regulations to prevent fraud and promote proper use of federal student financial aid funds awarded to distance education students. The May 1 announcement follows an earlier ED Office of the Inspector General report that described the increase in fraud-related incidents