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Department Addresses 150% Rule in Today’s Clarification for New Certification Procedures Requirements

Department Addresses 150% Rule in Today’s Clarification for New Certification Procedures Requirements

Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU)

CECU’s Government Relations

The Department has provided clarifications on its enforcement approach to provisions within the new Certification Procedures regulations concerning the program length cap for gainful employment programs, previously referred to as the “150% Rule.” Listing the concerns that CECU and others raised, the Department recognizes that certain institutions may face challenges beyond their control, preventing compliance before the July 1, 2024, effective date.
While not extending the effective date, the Department has stated that before taking action against an institution, it will allow the institution to present a defense explaining its inability to comply “due to reasons that are unique, time-specific, and outside the control of the institution.” The examples the Department provided include:
  • The inability to obtain approvals from States and/or accrediting agencies for changes in program length in order to comply with requirements under 34 CFR 668.14(b)(26);
  • The inability to obtain approvals for academic program changes to comply with the requirements related to licensure/certification under 34 CFR 668.14(b)(32);
  • The inability to obtain sufficient clarity from State licensing and certification entities about licensure and certification requirements;
  • The inability to access and use the Department’s systems.
The Department states that it “will seriously consider such challenges, in particular prior to January 1, 2025,” and that determinations regarding enforcement will be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account individual circumstances. Institutions are encouraged to document challenges preventing compliance before July 1, 2024. The Department plans to release future guidance on the new regulations in the coming weeks. We will update members on new developments.
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