NAICU Washington Update

Education Department Issues Final HEOA Regulations

November 10, 2009

In a flurry of activity in late October, the Department of Education issued final regulations implementing Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) provisions dealing with accreditation, student loans, and general and non-loan programmatic issues. Under the master calendar provisions of the Higher Education Act, final regulations must be issued by November 1 in order to take effect the following July 1.


Final accreditation regulations were published on October 27. The negotiated rulemaking team dealing with accreditation was able to reach consensus, and the final regulations closely track the agreements reached by that panel. One change made in the final regulations was the addition of language specifying that an accreditation agency appeals panel is not limited to an advisory or procedural role. The appeals panel has the authority to affirm, amend, or reverse actions of the original decision making body.

General and Non-Loan Programmatic Issues

Final regulations addressing general and non-loan programmatic issues were published on October 29. These regulations address year-round Pell Grants, disclosures to students, campus safety, peer-to-peer file sharing, veterans' readmission, and a variety of other HEOA provisions. The negotiated rulemaking team dealing with these regulations did not reach consensus.

NAICU representatives were among the negotiators who objected to last-minute changes proposed by Department negotiators in requirements for the disclosure of employment information about graduates (see "Department Publishes General Higher Ed Regs for Comment," Washington Update, 9/2/09). NAICU and others submitted comments asking the Department to stay within the confines of the statute on this issue, but the Department held fast to its position and did not alter the language included in the proposed regulations.

Student Loans

Two sets of final regulations dealing with loans have also been published. On October 28, the Department issued regulations addressing loan provisions from the college perspective. Final regulations dealing with loan provisions affecting lenders and guarantors were issued the following day.


A separate negotiated rulemaking group was established to discuss regulations for the TRIO and GEAR-UP grant programs. That group did not reach agreement. No regulations-either proposed or final-have yet been issued for these programs. It is possible they will be published at a later time.

Links to all of these regulations are available here.

MORE News from NAICU