Constitution Day Requirements to Remain Title IV Eligible

Higher education institutions must offer educational programs about the Constitution each year on September 17 (Constitution Day) in order to remain eligible for Title IV funding, thanks to a provision by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) that was slipped into a 2004 spending bill.


Both NASFAA's Reauthorization Task Force and Consumer Information Task Force, in their final reports, recommended eliminating non-related requirements concerning Constitution Day, Voters Registration, and Athletic Disclosures from compliance within Title IV administration. These provisions have no bearing on Title IV student financial aid but instead contribute to the confusion regarding all the information that is disseminated as a condition of Title IV participation.

Fortunately, the law and accompanying regulations are incredibly flexible, allowing institutions to do just about anything to commemorate the Constitution's birthday and remain Title IV eligible. This includes speeches arguing that forcing colleges to honor Constitution Day is unconstitutional, as a Vanderbilt University law professor did when the law first went into effect. Institutions have taken full advantage of the flexibility given in the law and regulations resulting in a diversity of educational events at campuses that is matched only by the diversity of institutions in the U.S.

How does your institution commemorate Constitution Day in order to remain in compliance with the law? Tell us in the comments section below.


Publication Date: 9/15/2014

Mayra C | 9/22/2014 10:1:28 AM

Hi Charles - can you share pp as well thank you

Esther M | 9/19/2014 3:13:48 PM

Constitution Day 2014

At Appalachian State University, Constitution Day 2014 was celebrated on Wednesday September 17th with a program sponsored by Dr. Matthew Robinson, professor of Government and Justice Studies, and Academic Affairs. The featured speaker for the day was Morris Dees. The son of cotton farmers, Dees worked as a young boy in the fields with blacks, witnessing first-hand social and economic deprivation and Jim Crow treatment at its worse. After graduating from law school, he began taking controversial civil rights cases and formed the Southern Poverty Law Center, along with Julian Bond and Joseph Levin, in 1970. Dees won a series of groundbreaking civil rights cases that helped integrate government and public institutions and cripple some of America’s most notorious white supremacist hate groups. He was named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal in 2006. He is the author of “A Season For Justice,” “Hate on Trial: The Case Against America’s Most Dangerous Neo-Nazi” and “Gathering Storm: America’s Militia Threat.”

Mr. Dees’ presentation was admission free and open to the public.

Shirley S | 9/19/2014 2:51:49 PM

Prince George’s Community College celebrated Constitution Day from Monday, September 15 – Friday, September 19, 2014. The celebration included a host of educational and culturally-driven activities inspired by this significant time in our Nation’s history. The Constitution Day Committee, championed by Cynthia Jones (Enrollment Services), Shirley Silva-Paige (Financial Aid), and Johnika Dreher (Owl Success Track), has events planned that take place all over the Largo campus beginning on Monday, September 15 in Bladen Hall and the Center for Health Studies.

“The significance of celebrating Constitution Day is that it gives students the opportunity to read, digest, interpret, and hopefully understand that we Americans, whether born here or not, are bound by the words of our founding fathers,” said Shirley Silva-Paige, Coordinator, Financial Aid

• Constitution Day Art & Essay Contest
• College-wide office decorating contest
• Voting Rights Skit (performed by Disability Services)
• 1st Annual Constitution Day Trip to George Washington and Georgetown Universities
• Mini-Constitution Giveaway

Cristi M | 9/19/2014 10:20:05 AM

Our Student Life and Leadership Office takes care of this - thank heavens. This year several people dressed up like historical figures and they gave out little booklets containing the Consitution and the Bill of Right in both English and Spanish. They got great response.

Matthew S | 9/19/2014 9:20:08 AM

We have a unique program at Waynesburg University called "The Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership," under the leadership of Dr. Lawrence Stratton. In addition to meeting with federal, state and local legislators throughout the year, including members of our Supreme Court, they actually write and perform their own play in honor of Constitution Day. This years play was "In God We Pray?" and was presented to students, faculty, staff and outside school groups. It brought to life the questions regarding government and prayer by focusing on the Greece v. Galloway Supreme Court ruling. In a word, it was EXCELLENT and was the perfect was to celebrate Constitution Day!

Gao Nue X | 9/19/2014 8:50:32 AM

Charles S., can I please get a copy of the PP presentation?

Brenda M | 9/17/2014 11:54:34 AM

Our annual Constitution Day event schedule is available online at:

James S | 9/17/2014 10:28:20 AM

Our Dean of Faculty sent the following notice to our students via email:
Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S.
Constitution by thirty-nine American revolutionaries on September 17, 1787. On Oct. 1st, CC will stream a lecture by Supreme Court judge Antonin Scalia followed by a discussion. Watch for announcements of this event in the coming days. Here are some websites to help mark the signing of the US Constitution on this day 217 years ago!

Carolyn Z | 9/16/2014 4:42:17 PM

We host a Naturalization Ceremony and reception for new Americans on our campus. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend; some classes incorporate participation in the syllabus.

Tracey P | 9/16/2014 3:35:31 PM

Charles, can you please send me the powerpoint? Thank you.

Delisa F | 9/16/2014 12:43:36 PM

See our website for all the activities to commemorate this day!

Leslie T | 9/16/2014 12:15:07 PM

Our Political Science department and the CLU club are working together with us to present Constitution Jeopardy in which students compete for scholarships!

Susan F | 9/16/2014 9:36:34 AM

Our Law School and Legal Affairs office are offering lectures. The day and other events are being heavily advertised on campus as well as having info on the university home page etc.

Susan F

Brenda M | 9/16/2014 9:34:49 AM

Our school hosts a brown bag lunch where several political science professors discuss a list of proposed amendments to the constitution. The discussion centers around whether or not these proposals uphold the core values of the original authors of our Constitution. The discussions get very lively and are very interesting!

Charles S | 9/16/2014 9:11:03 AM

Technically it is called Constitution & Citizenship Day now so make sure it states that for your consumer information. We are a tribal college so we are celebrating the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Great League of Peace; League of the Iroquois; Iroquois Confederacy) Influence on the U.S. Constitution. If anyone is interested I will happily e-mail them the PowerPoint presentation.

Elaine H | 9/16/2014 8:55:17 AM

Our Political Science Department pair with the Economic Department are hosting middle school students on our campus on September 17. The focus for the visit is the constitution. That is the activity this year. They do something different each year that is always interesting. We are fortunate that our faculty take this regulation to heart and they help us celebrate the constitution in meaningful ways.

Jeffrey J | 9/16/2014 8:53:33 AM

One of the items that we celebrate on our campus is to have an "Oath of Citizenship" for new citizens.

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