Government Affairs

ED to Delay and Clarify Third-Party Servicer Guidance | Policy Matters (April 2023)

April 28, 2023

Major Updates

ED Announces Intent to Rework Third-Party Servicer Guidance, Clarify Scope, Remove International Ban and Delay Deadline

In a blog post the Undersecretary of Postsecondary Education, James Kvaal, provided updates on the recent Third-Party Servicer guidance. While they are still reviewing the more than 1,000 public comments, Undersecretary Kvaal writes the Department will update the guidance to remove the ban on foreign ownership, and stated they will address that issue in upcoming negotiated rulemaking sessions. They have also provided more clarification that contracts with study abroad programs, recruitment of foreign students, clinical opportunities, and course-sharing consortia between eligible institutions do not fall under Third-Party Servicers. And, Kvaal hinted at an additional narrowing of scope to come later after more review. The Department also will delay the implementation dates, to at least 6 months after the still-to-come publication of the updated guidance letter. Read more.


New Data Including Earnings, Demographics, and Others Added to College Scorecard

Some new updates were added to the College Scorecard, to provide additional data for prospective students. More details from the Department: 

  • For the very first time, data on the median earnings of former graduates four years after completion of their requisite field of study. Previously, only three-year post-completion earnings data were available for individual fields of study within institutions. This year’s Scorecard features the most recent calculations available from the National Student Loan Data System and the IRS, so that students can understand which college and university graduates take on less loan debt and which former students earn more after college. The Scorecard will continue to publish additional years of earnings as they become available to help students better understand the short- and long-term benefits of earning a credential, especially in fields where many students pursue graduate degrees to realize their full earnings potential.
  • New demographic data, including race/ethnicity data for full-time college staff and student-to-faculty ratios. With this new data, individuals will have a fuller picture of campus diversity as part of a school’s profile, including information about student body size, ratio of part-time to full-time students, socio-economic diversity of students, the student-to-faculty ratio, and race/ethnicity distributions for both the student body and for full-time staff. 
  • Greater information for prospective graduate students – not just undergraduates – on fields of study, earnings, and student debt trends. This information is particularly important given the significant investment and loan debt that students take on to pay for graduate programs. Users can now search for fields of study for all degree levels, including post-baccalaureate certificates, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees. By selecting a field of study and degree type, they can view a list of schools that offer their field of study and quickly compare data on the earnings, debt, and number of students served. Prospective graduate students will now have easier access to more transparent data about which institutions leave students better off after attending.

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