The Department of Education (ED) recently published a resource page detailing its upcoming negotiated rulemaking hearings for the week of October 4. The public will have the opportunity to register for a given virtual session, access related documents and obtain additional information concerning the negotiated rulemaking process for the weeks ahead. Stay tuned to Today’s News for coverage of the upcoming sessions and be sure to catch up on our Negotiated Rulemaking coverage.
Publication Date: 10/1/2021
Deep Dive: Department of Education’s Proposed Administrative Capability & Certification Procedures Regulations
Kvaal, Cordray Testify During House Education Subcommittee Hearing
Deep Dive: Department of Education’s Proposed Ability to Benefit Regulations
Deep Dive: ED’s Proposed Financial Value Transparency and Gainful Employment Regulations
NASFAA Gives Comments on R2T4 and Third-Party Servicers at ED’s Public Hearings
Today's News for April 13, 2023
Thousands of Public Comments Prompt ED to Remove Third-Party Servicer Guidance Effective Date
ED Continues Negotiated Rulemaking With Public Hearings on Third-Party Servicers, Return of Title IV Funds, and More
Today's News for April 12, 2023
ED to Publish Proposed Rule on Income-Driven Repayment, Previews Gainful Employment Changes
Summary of Changes to Final Rules on Borrower Defense, Income Capitalization, Total and Permanent Disability, Closed School Discharge, False Certification Discharge, and PSLF
ED Issues Final Rules on Borrower Defense, Closed School Discharges, Total and Permanent Disability Discharges, Interest Capitalization, False Certification, and Public Service Loan Forgiveness
ED Issues Final Rules on 90/10 Rule, Prison Education Programs, and Change in Ownership
ED Delays 5 Regulatory Rules to Spring 2023
Catch Up Quick: Where Things Stand for Neg Reg’s Institutional and Programmatic Eligibility Committee
Neg Reg Day 5: Institutional and Programmatic Eligibility Committee Wraps Up Work on All 7 Issue Papers With More Caucuses Than Consensus
Neg Reg Day 3: Negotiators Far From Consensus on Gainful Employment Regulations
Final Session of Negotiated Rulemaking for Programmatic Eligibility Committee Kicks Off With Goals of Reaching Consensus
Neg Reg Day 5: Second Session Concludes Discussion of Issue Papers, With 90/10 and Gainful Employment Headlining
Neg Reg Day 3: Committee Tackles Gainful Employment, Financial Responsibility
Neg Reg Day 2: Gainful Employment Issue Paper Dominates Discussion, Prompts a Host of Negative Temperature Checks
Second Bout of Neg Reg Sessions for Programmatic Eligibility Committee Get Underway
ED to Focus on Student Debt, Institutional Accountability in Coming Year, Cardona Says
Neg Reg Day 4: Institutional and Programmatic Eligibility Committee Wraps Up First Week of Work
Neg Reg Day 2: Gainful Employment Dominates Discussions, With Negotiators Also Focusing on Financial Responsibility
New Year, New Neg Reg: Institutional and Programmatic Eligibility Committee Dives into Ability to Benefit and Administrative Capability
Neg Reg Debrief: Committee Members Recount Experience in the Rulemaking Process
Where Things Stand: Neg Reg Roundup - Affordability and Student Loans
Neg Reg Committee Resumes PSLF, IDR Discussion, and Hears From Prison Education Programs Subcommittee
Neg Reg Prison Education Program Subcommittee Concludes Work in Final Session With Significant Disagreements Remaining
Neg Reg Prison Education Program Subcommittee Begins Resolving Host of Regulatory Definitions, But Divergent Points Remain in Second Session
Neg Reg Prison Education Subcommittee Resumes Discussions on Pell for Incarcerated Individuals as Second Week’s Agenda Tees Off
Neg Reg Day 5: Committee Looks for Clarity on Income-Driven Repayment Plans
Neg Reg Day 4: Borrower Defense, Predispute Arbitration Wrap Up While IDR Discussions Begin
Neg Reg Day 3 Agenda Tackles Borrower Defense to Repayment
Senate Democrats Offer Neg Reg Comments Urging ED to Continue Implementing Borrower Relief
PSLF Takes Center Stage as Neg Reg Enters Day 4 Agenda
Closed School Discharges, Interest Capitalization and Borrower Defense: Neg Reg Continues With Day 2 Agenda
ED to Publish Final Distance Education Regulations
NASFAA Submits Comments on Proposed Distance Education and Innovation Rules
Breaking Down Borrower Defense Regs: New Rules for Certain Loan Discharges, Pre-Arbitration Agreements
Breaking Down Borrower Defense Regs: ED Introduces Another Borrower Defense Framework
ED Publishes Proposed Regulations on Accreditation for Public Comment
Neg Reg Committee Kicks Off Third Session With Distance Education
Neg Reg Subcommittee on Distance Education Grapples With ED’s Proposed Definitions
Peter G | 10/1/2021 2:19:53 PM
After reading through the 'False Certification Discharge' I have some significant concerns. I hadn't seen any of these my first 8 years as a director, but have seen 8-10 since COVID hit, and it feels like some advocacy groups are steering students to this option as a catchall/Hail Mary approach.
Trying to be brief:
1) The regs should require ED / Servicers to inform schools of the specific issue being contested and provide the claim materials to the school, in the same way it's proposing to give students direct access to the material provided by the college. They already have a right to info under FERPA, but data extracted to a servicer may be missing key pieces or context, esp. if we've not been informed what specifically we're responding to which is often the case with these.
2) There's no clear standard of proof given. I think everyone agrees that a school responding to a student's statement that they don't have a diploma with "Well, sign this anyway" is problematic. But what if the response is "Unfortunately you would need to certify you have a diploma or GED"? What the student hears ("just sign the form") may be different than what's expressed (I'm informing you of your rights/options). How is that going to be documented, much less adjudicated? Do we cease informing students of their legal options and require them to just figure it out entirely on their own? The proposal seems to suggest these are cut and dry and some probably are, but moving the line risks pushing many routine advising discussions into contested territory.
3) #2 would generally be fine if every student were straight out of high school, or if there were a national database of diploma/GED receipt. As proposed this would probably push us back to collecting proof of diploma, but that creates other barriers for students, particularly many older or foreign students.
Peter G | 10/1/2021 2:19:48 PM
4) The Department here is completely evading a major potential morass which is homeschool. Federal and many states' rules are ambiguous, and most schools aren't positioned to be experts (we struggle even navigating our own state's contradictory requirements) so we are often accepting homeschool "documentation" that is little more than self-certification. We could easily end up with a cottage industry a decade down the road advising home school students on how to prove the documentation their college/univ accepted was invalid in some fashion.
#5) If I'm reading the Identity Theft section right the Department seems to be opening the door to cases around the relatively common issue we all know exists but usually can't prove of "Mom/Dad signed my prom note." I'd be curious how they are thinking about that issue.
#6) They should be thinking about some standard of limitation here that is built around legal documentation requirements. We responded to one false certification claim for loans from 1999-2000, where, as above, it seemed to just be a Hail Mary hope that we no longer had any documentation. If the loan had been 3 years earlier we likely wouldn't have.
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