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 ED Delays Effective Date of State Authorization Rules, Pauses in Development of New Rules for Online Programs 


On June 24, 2014, the Department of Education (ED) announced that it would again delay the effective date of regulations that establish new standards for what would constitute acceptable state authorization for purposes of HEA Title IV student aid program eligibility. The regulations were originally intended to go into effect on July 1, 2013, were delayed last year until July 1, 2014, and this week's announcement pushes the effective date back to July 1, 2015. The regulations at issue are those that deal with authorization of institutions within the state that they are located, and not those that address distance education programs. The distance education provisions in the original regulations were struck down by a court on procedural grounds.

Earlier this year, ED had convened a negotiated rulemaking panel to rewrite the distance education provisions. The negotiators participating in that process were not able to reach consensus, and ED was expected to release soon a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking setting out their proposal. However, in remarks before the Council on Higher Education Accreditation, ED Under Secretary Ted Mitchell indicated that the department was "pausing" the development of the new regulation and none would be issued before the November 1 deadline. It is unclear at this time whether the department will attempt to establish regulations next year.

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