On September 22, the Senior Department Official (SDO) for the US Department of Education (ED) released a letter announcing the decision to terminate the recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as a gatekeeper for student financial aid programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (Title IV programs).
On June 23, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) will meet to consider the recommendation of US Department of Education (ED or the Department) staff that the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) be removed from the list of accrediting agencies recognized by the Department as a reliable authority regarding the quality of education or training offered by institutions it accredits.
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.
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.
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.
Accreditors have been seen as obstacles to innovation in higher education. In April we issued a Cooley Alert on new WASC guidelines for disaggregating institutional services. Now WASC and DEAC have issued separate policies that appear intended to make it easier for new institutions to come into existence and for the validation of courses provided by unaccredited entities.
The WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC or the Commission) has issued a revision of its policy on agreements between accredited institutions and unaccredited entities, such as service providers.