NASFAA Joins Higher Ed Groups to Oppose State Authorization Regulations

NASFAA joined 60 other higher education associations and accrediting organizations to oppose the state authorization regulations included in the Oct. 29, 2010 final program integrity regulations. In a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the organizations urge the U.S. Department of Education to rescind the new regulations because they place an unnecessary burden on educational institutions. The final regulations unnecessarily expand and confuse federal compliance requirements for the authorization of educational institutions in a state, the letter states.

The organizations partnered to oppose the regulations for the following reasons:

  • A federal effort to define state authorization of educational institutions will likely complicate the process, as states have approached the authorization function in different ways.
  • Ambiguous language fails to clarify federal expectations of individual institutions and raises concern about an overreach of state authority to impose requirements.
  • The provision that an academic institution document, upon request, compliance with state requirements for distance learning to the secretary of education surpasses the government's role. 
  • Aligning department interpretations of state requirements for distance learning programs with a state's interpretation may prove problematic as institutions attempt to comply with both.
  • Uncertainties and confusion could cause institutions to limit distance education courses and adversely affect the students most in need.