Regulation and Deregulation in Education

Education Regulation and Deregulation

The regulation or “deregulation” (of higher education in particular) continues to impact the “business” of educational institutions.

Recently, the Department of Education (DoE) has taken numerous steps to deregulate accountability measures on higher education institutions in regards to the use of federal financial aid. These measures typically limit subsidies to under-performing institutions and promote student enrollments towards institutions that have proven positive student outcomes.  An article by Brookings indicates that “A strong accountability system is necessary to protect the investments federal taxpayers make in students.” These programs help to:

  • Reduce the number of students enrolling at institutions and programs that produce poor earning potential and high levels of debt.
  • Prevent taxpayers from funding grants that do not produce meaningful impacts and from absorbing the cost of defaults on loans.

Additional regulatory concerns that educational institutions continue to grapple with include Title IX and Accreditation Standards.

Title IX

A recent Inside Higher Ed article explains how Title IX compliance is being leveraged in lawsuits off the athletic fields. One family argues that dangerous hazing incidents are unfairly overlooked on Louisiana State University campus as opposed to the sorority counterparts. Additional Title IX concerns are being raised over unfair athletic practices and policies that discriminate against transgender individuals. Finally, according to a report by Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP, reverse discrimination lawsuits are on the rise. The complexity of these issues and the cost of compliance represent an ongoing concern for colleges and universities throughout the country.

Accreditation Standards

A recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by the DOE proposes changes regarding education accreditation regulations. An analysis of the rule by JD Supra explains “Overall, the Proposed Rule seeks to provide accrediting agencies with greater flexibility to apply its standards, as well as making certain changes to the recognition process, in an effort to promote innovation and to honor the autonomy of accrediting agencies.” The analysis goes on to detail the proposed changes which include compliance timelines, notification of accrediting decisions, changes to the appeals process and much more.

These regulations and deregulations should be monitored accordingly to ensure compliance in a rapidly changing political environment. If you have a question or concern regarding regulatory changes in the education sector, reach out to a trusted RCM&D Advisor today.

The issue of Regulation was ranked as one of the top risks for education institutions in the RCM&D report 2019 Outlook: Top Risks for Education Institutions. To receive a copy of the full report, please complete the form to the right.


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