NAICU Washington Update

House Committee Votes to Repeal State Authorization, Credit Hour, Gainful Employment Regs

July 25, 2013

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce has approved legislation that would repeal the state authorization, credit hour definition, and gainful employment regulations.  Those regulations, issued in 2010, were targeted for repeal in the Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 2637), which the committee approved on July 24, by a vote of 22 to 13.
NAICU endorsed the regulatory relief bill, and joined with several other higher education associations and accreditation agencies in a July 17 letter of support for the measure.  NAICU has had long-standing concerns about the regulations, particularly those on state authorization and credit hour definition.  The state authorization requirements are confusing and subject to inconsistent interpretation; as a result, many established colleges have been told their documentation for status as a college is inadequate.  The federal definition of a credit hour inappropriately intrudes into academic decisions that properly rest with each institution and its faculty, and interferes with a college’s ability to explore innovative teaching methods. 
The three regulations were part of a larger package of regulations that were aimed at curbing fraud and abuse in federal student aid programs - a goal NAICU strongly supports.    Unfortunately, rather than advancing that goal, they have increased expenses and administrative burdens for fully legitimate colleges.

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