NAICU Washington Update

Fraud and Abuse Issues: Next Phase of Regulatory Process Begins

August 06, 2010

Monday, August 2, marked the deadline for submitting comments on proposed regulations to address fraud and abuse in federal student aid programs.  NAICU submitted its own comments, as well joining over 70 other associations on a higher education community letter.  In addition, many NAICU members submitted individual comments in response to an action alert sent last month that outlined the key issues of interest to private, non-profit higher education.

The areas of greatest concern to NAICU include the federal definition of "credit hour" and provisions dealing with state authorization.  NAICU requested that both proposals be stricken, based on concerns that they could lead to inappropriate interference with academic decisions and institutional autonomy.  Striking these provisions was also the top priority identified in the higher education community letter.  Both letters also requested clarification and modification of some of the dozen other topics addressed in the proposal.

The Department will now review the comments and make revisions to the proposals.  Final regulations must be published by November 1 in order to go into effect by July 1, 2011.

In a related development, the Department has now published its full package of proposals dealing with "gainful employment." (See related story.)

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