Government Affairs

Policy Matters | Many Regulations Taking Effect July 1 (June 2020)

June 28, 2020
  • COVID 19 – CARES Act Funding + Reopening Policies
    The past few months have been confusing for institutions wishing to disburse COVID-19 emergency grant dollars due to the Department of Education changing allocation calculations and requirements, including eligibility for who can receive grants from the relief legislation. One of the main groups that . DACA, the program protecting children brought to the United States who do not have citizenship, was . Critics believe the action to deny these individuals the grant dollars .Amid this confusion, Senators from both sides of the aisle have said they would like additional funding for higher education to help support safe reopening policies and to address the losses caused by coronavirus. Earlier this month, a with university presidents and a public health expert providing testimony. Just this week, Senator Alexander (R-TN) has stated he would be open to spending additional dollars on schools to help them reopen.

  • Many Regulations Taking Effect July 1
    In the midst of everything else going on in higher ed policy (COVID funding, fall plans for reopening and new Title IX regulations, to name a few), there are a plethora of new regulatory requirements going into final effect July 1, including some major disclosure/information requirements. Here are a few of the most important to our community to review and be sure their institutions are up-to-date on:

    • Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) – As of Friday, , stopping previously passed bipartisan legislation intended to block the administration’s changes. So, the administration’s ruling will move forward and into effect July 1. Amid financial calculation changes, the rule requires internal dispute resolution and arbitration processes to be communicated as part of the student’s borrower entrance counseling.
    • Administrative Policy Disclosure – requires the publication of the institution’s: refund policy; contact info for filing complaints with the accreditor and state authorization agency; whether the institution is required to maintain a teach-out plan by its accreditor, and why; and notice of any enforcement actions or prosecutions brought against the institution, where a final judgment against the institution, if rendered, would result in adverse action by an accrediting agency, state authorization agency, or eligibility under Title IV.
    • Student Demographic + Outcomes Disclosures – requiring the publication of percentages for enrolled, full-time students at the institution who are male/female, Pell eligible, and self-identified as a member of a racial/ethnic group; placement rate, if the institution uses it in marketing or advertising, or if the state requires the institution to report it; retention rate of certificate or degree-seeking, first-time, full-time, undergraduates entering the institution.
    • State Authorization – student “location” vs “residence” switch goes live. For distance education, to determine the requirements for state authorization, the institution must know where the student is actually located when taking the course, and not just where they indicated their home address. This rule also implements a disclosure requirement for programs leading to licensure or certifications.
    • Gainful Employment (GE) – a rescission of the entire rule related to this topic, and any GE related activities should cease prior to July 1.
    • Accreditation and Innovation – greater flexibility and responsiveness for innovation will now be allowed under accreditation standards as well as oversight for accreditors over their institutions. Changes to competition through the historical regulation of location-based regional accreditors has been untethered.
    • Transfer of Credit Disclosure – institutions must publish their transfer of credit policy, articulating whether other institutions have established an articulation agreement with them, as well as any criteria used to evaluate prior learning experience and awarding credit for demonstrated competencies/learning.
    • Institutional Arrangement Disclosure – requires institutions to publish a description of any written arrangements that the institution has entered into which may include: a portion of the educational program that the institution which grants the degree or certificate is not providing; as well as estimated additional costs students may incur as a result of enrolling in an educational program that is provided under this arrangement.
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