The U.S. Department of Education announced in the Federal Register that it will hold virtual public hearings to receive stakeholder feedback on potential issues for future rulemaking sessions. The virtual public hearings will be held from April 11-13 from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern. You can learn more and sign up for a speaking slot in our press release.
This announcement is the first step in the process of issuing new regulations. Following the public hearings, the Department will finalize the issues to be addressed through rulemaking and solicit nominations for non-federal negotiators who can serve on the negotiated rulemaking committee(s), which will convene in fall 2023.
The Department suggests the following topics for regulation in the hearing notice but invites comment on any regulatory issue that can improve outcomes for students. Potential topics may include:
- The Secretary’s recognition of accrediting agencies and related issues
- Institutional eligibility, including State authorization
- Third-party servicers and related issues
- The definition of distance education as it pertains to clock hour programs and reporting students who enroll primarily online
- Return of Title IV funds
- Cash management to address disbursement of student funds
- Federal TRIO programs