Jonathan D. Tarnow



Jonathan Tarnow applies over two decades of experience in education law to advise clients on a wide range of matters involving the U.S. Department of Education, accrediting bodies, state educational agencies, and other governmental and nongovernmental regulators. Jonathan counsels schools, colleges, universities, publicly traded and privately held education companies, charter school management organizations, private investors, financial institutions, education technology companies and third-party vendors of educational support services, and other organizations involved in the education industry. Jonathan is a frequent speaker and author on education law, as well as privacy and data security laws applicable to educational institutions and services.

Education Regulatory Compliance

Jonathan assists clients to navigate the complex and evolving legal and regulatory landscape that governs the provision of educational programs and services, including Title IV federal student financial aid program requirements; campus crime, safety and sexual assault regulations under the Clery Act and Title IX; rules for federal educational benefits to veterans and active military personnel; state educational licensing and authorization requirements; distance education regulations; and compliance with accrediting standards. He regularly represents clients in regulatory compliance reviews and audits, including administrative agency appeals. Jonathan also has served as a negotiator representing postsecondary institutions in U.S. Department of Education negotiated rulemaking processes.


Education Industry Transactions and Agreements

Jonathan helps clients successfully complete sophisticated transactions and negotiate complex agreements in the education sector. These matters include purchases and sales of educational institutions or their assets, conversions of private institutions from proprietary to nonprofit status, credit facilities to support acquisitions or ongoing operations, institutional mergers, joint venture agreements, charter school management agreements, and contracts between educational institutions and third-party service providers of highly regulated activities including admissions, marketing, financial aid, curriculum and faculty development, and educational program delivery.


Privacy and Data Security

Jonathan advises educational institutions and third-party service providers on privacy and security laws applicable to educational institutions and services, particularly requirements under the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), the Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA), the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).


Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


George Washington University Law School
J.D. (1996)

George Washington University
B.A. (1993)

Insights & Events

Updates February 2022

FTC Updates to “Safeguards Rule” Has Impacts for Higher Education Institutions

8 min read  
Updates August 2021

New U.S. Department of Education Regulations on Distance Education and Other Title IV Program Matters Effective July 1, 2021

22 min read  
Updates January 2021

Over $21 Billion in Emergency Grant Aid Available to Higher Education Institutions and Students through HEERF II Funding Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act

9 min read  
Updates December 2020

U.S. Department of Education Extends and Clarifies COVID-Related Waivers for Accrediting Agencies

5 min read  
Publication October 2020

Reminder to Higher Education Institutions of October 30 Deadline for CARES Act HEERF Institutional Fund Reports

3 min read  
Updates August 2020

Revised Higher Education Reporting Requirements for CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students

3 min read  
Updates August 2020

Regulatory Agency and Selected Accreditor Resources for Higher Education Institutions Regarding COVID-19 Pandemic

9 min read  
Updates August 2020

Education Department Extends COVID-19 Regulatory Flexibilities for Title IV Programs; Announces Implementation of President’s Executive Order for Continued Student Loan Borrower Relief

4 min read  
Updates July 2020

Education Department Unveils New Portal for Foreign Contract and Gift Reporting

4 min read  
Updates June 2020

New Supplemental Guidance and Deadlines Issued for Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds Under the CARES Act

5 min read  

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • National Association of College and University Business Officers
  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Civic Activities

  • George Washington University Alumni Association — Board of Directors, 2007-15
  • George Washington University — Board of Trustees, 1997-2000
  • District of Columbia Bar, Section on Administrative Law and Agency Practice — Steering Committee (Co-Chair, 2005-06; Member, 2003-06); Education Law and Policy Committee (Chair, 1999-2002)
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