ED Adopts Changes to Clock and Credit Hour Rules

Jay Vaughan and Naomi Harralson May

Earlier this month, the US Department of Education (ED or the Department) announced a number of changes to the so-called “cash management” regulations that govern institutional arrangements with financial account providers and will take effect on July 1, 2016.

FTC Focuses on Lead Generation Practices in Higher Education and Edtech

Jacqueline Grise, Scott Dailard, Greg Ferenbach, Tanisha James and Paul Thompson

On Friday, October 30, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission conducted a workshop in Washington, DC on lead generation practices, with a specific consumer protection focus on activities in the higher education sector including ed tech companies.

Pending Rulemaking Likely to Expand Borrower Defenses Against Repaying Federal Direct Loans

Jonathon Glass and Kate Lee Carey

The US Department of Education (ED) is preparing for a new rulemaking that is intended to clarify—and very likely expand—the ability of student borrowers to be relieved of the obligation to repay their Federal Direct Loans.

New Proposal Offers Limited Access to Federal Student Aid for Alternative Providers

Greg Ferenbach and Mike Goldstein

On October 15, 2015, the US Department of Education (ED) issued a long-awaited notice announcing an “Experimental Sites Initiative” (ESI) to permit limited access to federal loan and grant programs for students enrolled in certain kinds of short, non-institutional educational programs.

Safe Harbor Ripples Affect EU Student Data at US Schools

Matt Johnson and Ann Bevitt

Last week Europe’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared invalid a “Safe Harbor” framework whereby personal data could be easily transferred between many European countries and the US.

Further Refinement to Accreditation in Higher Education

Jay Vaughan, Naomi Harralson May and Robin Dasher-Alston

Reacting to ongoing concerns and complaints expressed by members of Congress and others, the accrediting community has been very busy introducing new policies and procedures and refining their respective processes in preparation for the looming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

ED Guidance on Competency-Based Education: Barriers to Adoption Remain

Mike Goldstein, Greg Ferenbach, Vince Sampson and Naomi Harralson May

Institutions that are in the process of developing competency-based education (CBE) programs now have a clearer window to the US Department of Education’s perspective on how federal student financial aid rules can accommodate this alternative educational delivery methodology—and what institutions must do to demonstrate and maintain compliance.

Student Data Privacy: States Keep Up the Momentum

Greg Ferenbach, Matt Johnson and Vince Sampson

While Congress continues to consider (but not act on) nationwide student data privacy initiatives, the states continued to lead the charge in 2015.

DOJ Puts Pressure on Schools and Edtechs to Provide Accessible Educational Technology

Mike Goldstein, Paul Thompson and Nancy Anderson

In our last alert on the growing interaction between edtech and disability law, we noted that the Department of Justice (DOJ) appears to be moving to extend the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to reach entities other than schools that provide online educational programs and services.

New Clery Act Requirements Warrant Close Review Before October 1 Deadline

Blain Butner and Paul Thompson

New regulations under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that took effect in July have a direct impact on all institutions’ Annual Security Reports as well as other aspects of institutions’ compliance with the campus crime and safety requirements under the Clery Act.

The Gainful Employment Rules: New Guidance on Reporting, Certification and Disclosures

Jonathon Glass and Kate Lee Carey

As additional elements of the Gainful Employment Rules (GE) have become effective, the Department of Education (ED) has provided additional formal and informal guidance regarding its expectations for reporting, certification, and disclosures.

“Ability to Benefit” is Back, But Not the Same

Jonathon Glass, Kate Lee Carey and Naomi Harralson May

Recently, a number of third-party test providers have begun promoting the Department of Education’s (ED) approval of their Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) assessments by notifying institutions that, after a three-year hiatus, they can once again award federal financial aid to students who do not have high school diplomas.