The Department of Education (ED) on Friday announced it was withdrawing nearly 600 pieces of regulatory guidance it had deemed to be either out-of-date or no longer necessary. Of the higher education-related regulations that will be withdrawn, none will have a major impact on federal student aid programs.
The decision stems from ED's Regulatory Reform Task Force, which for the past several months has been reviewing all education regulations and guidance for possible repeal or modification. The order creating the task force directed it to identify regulations that "eliminate jobs or inhibit job creation; are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective; impose costs that exceed benefits; create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and Policies; are inconsistent with the requirements of section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 or its guidance; or derive from or implement Executive Orders or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified."
Overall, the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) identified 398 outdated items of guidance to remove. According to a press release from ED, some guidance dates back as far as the early to mid-1990s, and relate to closed initiatives or historical occurrences.
"Each item has been either superseded by current law or is no longer in effect," the press release said. "Removing these out-of-date materials will make it easier for schools, educators, parents and the public to understand what guidance is still in effect."
ED held public hearings to help identify regulations and guidance that should be removed or modified. NASFAA spoke at one public hearing in early October, and urged ED to weigh the burdens and benefits or particular regulations, such as the Return of Title IV funds (R2T4) and subsidized usage limits (SULA).
A detailed list of the regulations and guidance that will be withdrawn can be found in the task force's full report.
Publication Date: 10/30/2017