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Federal Regulations

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What is the relationship between the federal state authorization regulations and state level state authorization regulations?

States expect institutions to obtain necessary approvals (if any) before offering activities in their state.  

Compliance with Federal state authorization regulations is intended to tie institutional compliance to state laws and regulations to participate in Title IV, HEA programs. 

The 2016 Federal regulations for state authorization of distance education were to be effective July 1, 2018.  On July 3, 2018, the Department announced that the effective date of selected provisions of the 2016 Federal regulations would be delayed for two years (July 1, 2020).  The Department maintained that the two year delay provides the required time to review and possibly revise the regulations through Negotiated Rule-making.  Delayed regulations include:  34 CFR 600.2; 34 CFR 600.9(c); 34 CFR 668.50. 

The regulation for State Authorization of foreign locations of domestic institutions, 34 CFR 600.9 (d) was not delayed. The effective date of that provision remained JULY 1, 2018.

Note that on April 26, 2019, the U.S. District Court ordered a vacatur of the delay and ordered the 2016 Federal regulations to become effective in 30 days (May 26, 2019).  

Consensus was achieved during the 2019 Federal Negotiated Rulemaking.  Proposed rules were released in June 2019. 

Final Federal Regulations for State Authorization were published in the Federal Register on Nov 1, 2019.  To be effective on July 1, 2020 and replace the 2016 Federal Regulations for State Authorization.  BUT..... 600.2; 600.9(c); 668.43; 668.50 are subject to immediate early implementation at the discretion of the institution.

Other Federal regulations related to the out-of-state activities of an institution are currently effective and must be observed.

Federal Regulations

Currently Effective! Originally Effective July 1, 2018* Subject to 2 year delay then delay vacated by the US District Court.

34 CFR 600.2, 34 CFR 600.9 (c) and 34 CFR  668.50  

Publication Date 12/19/16  These provisions were delayed until July 1, 2020.  BUT, April 26, 2019 U.S. District Court ruled vacatur of the delay indicating that the 2016 regulations become effective May 26, 2019. 

34 CFR 600.2:  Definitions - State authorization reciprocity agreement

34 CFR 600.9 (c): State authorization and process for review.

34 CFR 668.50: Institutional Disclosures for programs completed solely through distance education (excluding internships and practice).  Specific public disclosures, individualized disclosures, and acknowledgements  are required.

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November 1, 2019 -  USED releases 2019 FINAL Federal Regulations for State Authorization and Accreditation.  Effective Date is July 1, 2020. However, 600.2; 600.9(c); 668.43; and 668.50 are subject to immediate early implementation at the discretion of the institution.  On the effective date these state authorization related regulations will take the place of the 2016 Federal regulations.

34 CFR 600.2:  Definitions - state authorization reciprocity agreement

34 CFR 600.9 (c): State authorization and process for review. -  based upon "Location" of the student instead of "Residence"

34 CFR 668.50: REMOVED Institutional Disclosures for programs completed solely through distance education (excluding internships and practice).  Specific public disclosures, individualized disclosures, and acknowledgements are required.

34 CFR 668.43(a)(5)(v)  Institutional Information - General Disclosures for ALL programs leading to professional licensure or certification (face to face and distance education)  THIS IS A KEY CHANGE!

34 CR 668.43(c) Institutional Information  - Individual Disclosures for ALL programs leading to professional licensure or certification to prospective students if the institution makes a determination that the program does not meet state educational requirements or the institution has not made a determination where the student is located prior to enrollment in the program (USED indicated in the preamble of the regulations: before a financial transaction occurs).  Individual Disclosures to enrolled students if the institution determines that the curriculum no longer meets educational requirements where the student is located  - within 14 days of the institution making that determination.

 

 

Other Applicable Federal Regulations

34 CFR 668.43 (b) Institutional Information - The institution must make available for review to any enrolled or prospective student upon request, a copy of the documents describing the institution's accreditation and its State, Federal, or tribal approval or licensing. The institution must also provide its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student's complaint.

34 CFR 668.71 Scope and special definitions related to the impact on the institution's participation in Title IV programs if an institution engages in substantial misrepresentation to students. Note that the definition of Misrepresentation was revised to indicate that misleading statements include omission of information.  The final rules in 2016 that included this definition were subject to a lawsuit that has concluded with a finding that the 2016 language is currently effective and found here. SAN members may wish to review the Federal Misrepresentation Presentation available by member log in.

34 CFR 668.72 Nature of educational program. Description of what is deemed misrepresentation by an eligible institution's educational program that includes, but is not limited to, false, erroneous or misleading statements.  Note that subsection (c) (2) specifically addresses professional licensure information.

34 CFR 602.17 (g) (2) Student identification verification for distance education or correspondence education.  Includes:  making clear in writing to the student, at the time of registration or enrollment, if there are any projected additional student charges.  (proctoring)

HEA Reauthorization

The Higher Education Act (HEA) was originally enacted in 1965.  The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) was last reauthorized in 2008. That reauthorization was set to expire in 2013, but was extended to allow legislators more time to work on a new version.  The HEA is the foundation for which the Federal regulations are developed to manage higher education. Passage of a Reauthorization of the HEA is not expected until at least 2020. 

 

Latest Resources

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05.04.2020

May 2020 eNewsletter

Compliance Requirements (NonSARA)
Federal Regulations
Reciprocity (SARA)