On November 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education announced final regulations to protect student borrowers against misleading and predatory practices by postsecondary institutions and clarify a process for loan forgiveness in cases of institutional misconduct. According to the Department:

The final regulations include key provisions from the proposed regulations that will protect the rights of borrowers and hold institutions accountable by:
  • Giving borrowers access to consistent, clear, fair, and transparent processes to file claims;
  • Empowering the Secretary to provide debt relief to borrowers without requiring individual applications in instances of widespread misrepresentations;
  • Protecting taxpayers by ensuring that financially troubled institutions provide the government with protection against the risks they create and that institutions whose actions lead to discharges of Federal student loans are held responsible;
  • Helping students make more informed decisions by requiring proprietary schools with poor loan repayment outcomes to include a plain-language warning in their advertising and promotional materials;
  • Ensuring affected borrowers have information about loan discharge when schools close and access to an automated process; and
  • Banning schools from inducing students to sign pre-dispute arbitration agreements that waive their rights to go to court and bring class action lawsuits based on borrower defense claims.

For more information from the Department of Education, click here. For a final copy of the regulations, click here.

According to new research published by UPCEA and Helix Education, 83 percent of higher education professionals surveyed have no knowledge of the cost-per-inquiry of their most effective marketing channel for undergraduate inquiry, and more than half made the same indication for graduate inquiry. Additionally, less than half of higher education professionals go through a formalized process when determining which new programs to develop. Leading by Gut or by Data: The Data-Driven State of Higher Ed Decision Making reveals the extent to which institutions apply data across the student lifecycle, where data gaps exist, and how institutions are mitigating barriers to the data-driven mindset.

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