ED Publishes Proposed Regulations for 90/10, Change of Ownership, Pell Grant Eligibility for Prison Education Programs

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Senior Staff Reporter

On Tuesday, the Department of Education (ED) published proposed regulations its 90/10 rule for for-profit colleges, Pell Grant Eligibility for Prison Education Programs, and procedures for institutions undergoing changes in ownership. A pair of negotiated rulemaking committees met last year to discuss the regulations and reached consensus on 90/10 and the Pell Grant Eligibility topics during the sessions, but did not come to consensus on the change of ownership paper, which is reflected in ED’s proposed rule.

NASFAA will be digging into these documents and would welcome member perspectives as we review and craft our own comments. As a reminder, ED has already delayed the publication of five regulations that were included in the 2021-22 negotiated rulemaking agenda, until April of 2023.

Stay tuned to Today’s News for more details along with an updated analysis from NASFAA.


Publication Date: 7/26/2022

Peter G | 7/26/2022 2:3:50 PM

I'm not sure if I'll say it in public comment, but there seems to be a tension between raising the bar and wanting to address the cost of college.

For PEP, one of the main places this shows up is the requirement that accreditors perform an on-site visit. I inquired how much that costs (and did not get a response) but in the past I understood it to be low five figures, not even counting the school's time to make it happen. That is absorbable if you are looking at a larger scale program, but given the limited space in some facilities, we are looking at maybe a dozen part-time students per year (and maybe not even that) and maybe 10-12k in revenue in year one even before accounting for actual operational costs, which will be substantial and frankly we were already going into this assuming it would run at a loss.

I was also a bit surprised by the expansion of the definition to include incarcerated youth. I'm sure there will be exceptions, but I think this will actually result in a decrease vs. what has been offered which clearly wasn't Congress' intent. While appreciating what ED is thinking IN THEORY, the tension here in reality is that most juveniles just based on age (and how that feeds diploma/GED status) aren't Title IV eligible, and I suspect there are going to be relatively few cases where it makes sense to build out all this infrastructure. We're among the largest districts in the country and we serve a very small handful of incarcerate youth a year. We just won't be able to serve those students anymore unless they can self-pay or the state steps in.

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