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New Cases and Developments

NACUA's Legal Resources staff summarizes current higher education cases and developments and provides the full text of selected cases to members. New cases and developments are archived here for up to 12 months.  Cases provided by Fastcase, Inc.

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Program Integrity & Gainful Employment; Authorizations & Regulations

Department of Education Rule on Deadlines for Filing Alternate Earnings Appeal and Notice of Intent to File Alternate Earnings Appeals (August 18, 2017)

Rule issued by the U.S. Department of Education establishing the deadlines by which institutions must file an alternate earnings appeal and a notice of intent to file an alternate earnings appeal. On January 6, 2017, the Department announced dates by which institutions subject to gainful employment regulations must comply with certain provisions relating to the submission of alternate earnings appeals. In this announcement, the Department has pushed the deadline for filing alternate earnings appeals to February 1, 2018, while also providing additional information that the Department will consider when it evaluates such an appeal. The Department further determined October 6, 2017, as the new deadline for filing a notice of intent to file an alternate earnings appeal. These deadlines were established in compliance with a recent court order in American Association of Cosmetology Schools v. DeVos, but extend beyond cosmetology schools to include all institutions under the purview of gainful employment regulations. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before September 18, 2017.

8/18/2017
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Program Integrity & Gainful Employment; Authorizations & Regulations

Department of Education Announcement on Delay of Gainful Employment Regulations Compliance (July 5, 2017)

Announcement issued by the U.S. Department of Education extending the deadline by which institutions must comply with certain gainful employment regulations. To allow for continued negotiation and additional public comments, the Department is extending the deadline for compliance with disclosure regulations until July 1, 2018, exactly one year after the original compliance deadline of July 1, 2017. The Department is also extending the deadline for institutions to file alternate earnings appeals to July 1, 2018, in light of a recent court order in American Association of Cosmetology Schools v. DeVos. In conjunction with this announcement, the Secretary of Education issued a press release describing the regulations as “overly burdensome” and calling for a “regulatory reset” to expand students’ options for pursuing higher education. 

7/6/2017
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Higher Education Opportunity Act; Program Integrity & Gainful Employment; Authorizations & Regulations

2017 Federal Student Aid Program Review Guide for Institutions (June 2, 2017)

Latest edition of the Program Review Guide for Institutions was published by the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA). The Guide contains information on the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines for Department personnel who review the programs of institutions that receive Title IV funding. It also provides institutions with an overview of the program review process and guidance in preparing for, participating in, and following up on program review.  

6/6/2017
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Program Integrity & Gainful Employment

Final Rule on Teacher Preparation Issues (May 9, 2017) (UPDATED)

Final Rule issued by the Department of Education rescinding the Department’s Teacher Preparation Issues regulations. The previous regulations were published in the Federal Register in October 2016 (81 Fed. Reg. 75494 (October 31, 2016)). The new Final Rule was issued pursuant to a Resolution (H.J. Res. 58) passed by the U.S. House of Representatives under the Congressional Review Act, which declared that the previous regulations “shall have no force or effect.” Higher education associations have spoken in favor of the House Resolution, noting that the previous regulations failed to reflect the most up-to-date professional practices and could have negative consequences on teacher preparation programs. [Update: The new Final Rule is effective on May 9, 2017.]

5/8/2017
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Program Integrity & Gainful Employment; Authorizations & Regulations

House Resolution Overturning Teacher Education Regulations (Mar. 27, 2017)

House Resolution (H.J. Res. 58) signed by the President overturning a Department of Education Rule on teacher preparation issues (81 Fed. Reg. 75494 (October 31, 2016)). In February, several higher education associations wrote to House and Senate education committee leaders in support of this Resolution, noting that the final teacher preparation rule failed to reflect the most up-to-date professional practices and could have negative consequences on teacher preparation programs. 

4/3/2017
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Authorizations & Regulations; Program Integrity & Gainful Employment

Rule on Applicable Dates for Gainful Employment Appeal and Compliance (Mar. 10, 2017)

Rule published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Education indicating that Department has delayed the deadline by which institutions must appeal debt-to-earnings ratio calculations or comply with gainful employment program disclosure requirements. The gainful employment rule, which applies to for-profit institutions as well as non-degree programs at community colleges and other nonprofit institutions, sets performance standards based on the ability of graduates to repay their federal student loans. The initial January 19 announcement included a deadline of March 10, 2017. This Rule officially pushes that deadline back to July 1, 2017.

3/7/2017
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Program Integrity & Gainful Employment; Authorizations & Regulations

Final Debt-to-Earnings Rates for Gainful Employment Programs (Jan. 9, 2017)

Data on the first debt-to-earnings rates for postsecondary education programs under federal gainful employment regulations were released by the U.S. Department of Education. Federal law sets out standards that postsecondary institutions must meet to qualify for federal student aid, including the requirement that certain programs prepare students for "gainful employment in a recognized occupation." The 2014 gainful employment regulations require that the typical graduate of such programs have an estimated annual loan payment that does not exceed 20 percent of his/her discretionary income, or 8 percent of his/her total earnings, based on Department calculations. A press release issued by the Department of Education announced the release of this data.

1/10/2017
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Program Integrity & Gainful Employment

Notice of Comment Request for Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)

Notice issued by the U.S. Department of Education proposing an extension for an existing information collection. The Department was granted an emergency clearance to allow for a revision in the data collected as part of Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The comment request is in response to a change in the Government Accounting Standards Board's (GASB) reporting standards that also impacts institutions reporting in IPEDS. As part of the emergency clearance, questions were added to assess the changes institutions' pension liabilities as result of the GASB change. Interested parties are invited to submit comments on or before February 11, 2016.
1/13/2016
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