Federal Update Number 102, August 2, 2022
On July 28, 2022, the U. S. Department of Education (USDE) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would implement statutory changes in the American Rescue Plan Act. USDE stated “The proposed regulations, which were negotiated by two committees of stakeholders last year, reflect significant input from the community, and consensus agreements among negotiators.” There is a 30-day public comment period, with comments due by August 26, 2022. After reviewing the public comments, USDE will publish a final rule by November 1, 2022, which will be effective July 1, 2023.
The regulations will change the 90/10 rule, which requires institutions to get at least 10 percent of their funds from non-federal education sources. Included in the 90 percent calculation will now be Veterans Administration educational funding as well as Title IV financial aid.
The new rules clarify change in ownership rules including for-profit to non-profit conversions and specify notification to USDE and students.
The rule that has the most impact on accreditation is extending Pell Grants to incarcerated individuals. The rule would ensure that state or federal corrections officials, in addition to and interacting with accreditors, assess institutions’ eligibility to offer education programs based on the best interests of the students. It will ensure transparency to demonstrate how well students are being served. If these programs lead to licensure or certification, the programs would need to meet the requirements in the state where the facility is located. The programs also need to lead to occupations where prohibitions on the licensure or employment of formerly incarcerated individuals do not exist. The rule clarifies that institutions must obtain approval from their accrediting agencies and from the Secretary of Education for prison education programs.
USDE completed the negotiated rulemaking sessions for these proposed regulations in March 2022.
The Federal Update informs CHEA members and interested parties on federal policy developments related to self-regulation and peer review. Please direct any inquiries or comments to Jan Friis, CHEA Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (202) 955-6126.