February 11, 2016

Washington Update: HEA Reauthorization, 2016 Congressional Outlook and Federal Regulatory Overview


Washington D.C. partners John Przypyszny and Jonathan Tarnow conducted a two hour session regarding the current federal legislative and regulatory landscape on postsecondary education law and policy at the 37th Annual Stetson University National Conference on Law and Higher Education. The conference was attended by over 200 college and university general counsel and senior administrators.

John and Jonathan discussed the potential for Congressional reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in 2016 and particular matters of legislative focus during that process, including issues related to institutional accountability, accreditation reforms, student data privacy and competency-based learning models. Turning to regulatory issues, they addressed numerous recent developments arising from the U.S. Department of Education and other agencies, including the Department’s implementation of new “gainful employment” program eligibility regulations, recently-finalized regulations concerning institutional relationships with financial account and debit card providers, and a current negotiated rulemaking process regarding discharges of federal student loans based on institutional acts or omissions under student consumer protection requirements.

John and Jonathan further engaged session attendees in a critical assessment of institutional data reflected on the Department’s College Scorecard website, and described other higher education accountability and transparency initiatives being undertaken at the federal level.

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