Government Affairs

Department Announces Final Rule on State Authorization

December 19, 2016

On December 19th, the U.S. Department of Education released final regulations to improve oversight and protect more than 5.5 million distance education students at degree-granting institutions including nearly 3 million exclusively online students by clarifying the state authorization requirements for postsecondary distance education. To ensure that institutions offering distance education are legally authorized and monitored by states, as required by the Higher Education Act, the final regulations clarify state authorization requirements for institutions to participate in the Department’s federal student aid programs. The regulations also address state and federal oversight of American colleges operating in foreign locations worldwide.

The new regulations will not take effect until July 1, 2018. Given this timeframe, many in the higher education policy community believe the rule will be undone by the incoming administration.

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

UPCEA is a proud founding member of the National Adult Learner Coalition.


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UPCEA Policy Commitee

Scott Weimer, Virginia Tech, Chair

Jennifer Blum, Laureate Education
Allison Friederichs, University of Denver
Bea Gonzales, Syracuse University
Reed Scull, University of Wyoming
Jim Shaeffer, Old Dominion University


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