NASFAA continues to seek member input about regulations that should be recommended to the Department of Education (ED) for repeal, replacement, or modification. The initial article in this series explained the basis of this solicitation and requested input on verification. The second article sought opinions on rules related to the return of Title IV funds for withdrawn students, and on the Direct Loan Program. The third article concerned the Pell Grant and campus-based programs, and issues related to nontraditional program formats. The fourth article asked member views on regulations governing disclosures (including student consumer information) and reporting requirements. This final article invites comments on student eligibility regulations, including satisfactory academic progress (SAP), and rules to establish new academic programs and additional institutional locations. Is there anything else in regulation that bugs you? Tell us about that as well!
Please give your recommendations either as a comment to this article, or in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line “Regulatory reform.”
Most of the student eligibility criteria are statutory in nature, although regulations and ED policy implement them (see the student eligibility section of NASFAA’s Student Aid Index). For example, military selective service law denies Higher Education Act (HEA) Title IV assistance to students who fail to register for selective service when required to, unless a student can show by a preponderance of evidence that the failure to register was not knowing and willful. While this regulatory reduction initiative cannot eliminate the Selective Service registration requirement, it can alter regulations and procedures that govern how a student and the institution go about establishing that failure to register was not knowing and willful.
Likewise, suspension of eligibility for drug-related offenses is statutory, along with the penalty periods and rehabilitation exception. Rules governing how a student regains eligibility by completing a drug rehabilitation program are regulatory.
The law requires that a student meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements, but the basic outline for those requirements are regulatory. Although ED sets the basic parameters, schools have options as to how they design the required components. The fundamental requirement to have a SAP policy is also part of the administrative capability regulations that in part determine an institution’s eligibility to participate in the Title IV programs.
Are there any regulations associated with these or other student eligibility criteria that should be repealed or revised?
Some new programs may be established without ED approval, others require approval. Are there any rules or procedures that inhibit your institution’s ability to set up new programs, especially in response to the needs of businesses or industries in your community or fields of study?
Additional locations must be reported to ED under certain circumstances, most notably when at least 50 percent of a program is offered there, and ED’s approval might be required. In part, these regulations enable ED to assess whether the additional location affects the institution’s financial and administrative capabilities. Have you encountered problems with these rules?
What have we not addressed that causes unnecessary burden or cost, or that inhibits effective operations or innovation?
Publication Date: 8/8/2017