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Education Department presses forward with review of accreditation and distance ed rules

Education Department presses forward with review of accreditation and distance ed rules

Higher Ed Dive

Natalie Schwartz
November 28, 2023
The U.S. Department of Education moved forward this week with plans to review wide-ranging higher education regulations, including those governing accrediting agencies, distance education, and how colleges receive and manage Title IV federal student aid funding.
Over the past few years, the Biden administration has started overhauling U.S. higher education policy. The Education Department has tightened the rules for-profit colleges must follow, increased protections for student loan borrowers and added more oversight to financially shaky institutions.
The Education Department filed a notice Tuesday saying it is planning its latest regulatory review through a process called negotiated rulemaking. Neg reg, as it is known, brings together negotiators to try to reach consensus on regulatory changes.
If they agree unanimously, the Education Department must adopt their proposed regulatory language. If they don’t find consensus, however, the agency can craft its own rules.
The process can be lengthy, as the Education Department must then seek public comment on its draft regulations and respond to all of them in some fashion.
The Education Department is seeking over a dozen negotiators to represent different groups who would be affected by regulatory changes, including civil rights organizations, state attorneys general, students, accrediting agencies, financial aid administrators and different types of institutions.
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