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Focus on Regulation

Tag Archives: U.S. Department of Education

U.S. Department of Education Announces Changes to College Scorecard, Plans for Future Expansion

In late May the U.S. Department of Education (the “Department”) announced several changes to its College Scorecard, a tool that is intended to help students and their families make informed decisions about post-secondary enrollment.  Then, on July – in a final rule in which the Department announced that it would rescind its “gainful employment” regulations

U.S. Department of Education Delays Borrower Defense to Repayment Regulations, Announces New Negotiated Rulemaking Committees

On June 14, the U.S. Department of Education (“ED”) announced its plan to convene negotiated rulemaking committees to consider revisions to two major sets of regulations that were developed by the Obama Administration.  ED also announced that it would delay indefinitely the implementation of one of those sets of regulations—which was scheduled to take effect

Regional Accrediting Agency Proposes Ban on Paying Recruiters of International Students

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

U.S. Department of Education Publishes Procedures for Group Borrower Defense Claims

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

U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Withdraw Guidance on Transgender Students

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

U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance on Student Eligibility for Closed School Discharge

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)

U.S. Department of Education Denies Charlotte School of Law Recertification for Federal Student Aid Eligibility

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.

U.S. Department of Education Launches New Feedback System for Federal Student Aid

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.

Department of Education OCR Releases Guidance on Title IX Coordinator(s)

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

U.S. Department of Education Delays Implementation of Certain State Authorization Requirements until July 1, 2015

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

Office for Civil Rights and Department of Justice Issue Dear Colleague Letter on Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline

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

U.S. Department of Education releases Gainful Employment Disclosure Template – Use required by January 31

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.

U.S. Department of Education Publishes Amendments to Misrepresentation Regulations

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

Federal Agencies Issue Guidance on Fisher v. University of Texas

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

Department of Education Issues Report on “Helping to Ensure Access to Equal Education”

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,

U.S. Department of Education Offers Additional Guidance on Gainful Employment Disclosure Requirements

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

U.S. Department of Education Takes Steps to Curb Student-Aid Fraud

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