Colleges Brace for Implementation of New Federal Regulations
June 12, 2024

Colleges and universities, still burdened by the botched FAFSA rollout, face an unusually busy summer, as several new federal regulations will go into effect. The regulations touch on many aspects of campus operations and, in some cases, are complex overhauls of existing systems.

Below is a brief overview:

Digital Accessibility Requirements
Effective: June 24

Public entities, including public colleges and universities, must review and update their digital materials for accessibility in accordance with a new Department of Justice regulation. Read ACE’s comments on the regulations here and an overview of the final rule by Higher Ed Dive here.

Federal Overtime Salary Threshold Increase
Effective: July 1

The Department of Labor’s overtime rule, which will greatly impact colleges and universities, will increase the salary threshold for many employees to be eligible for overtime. ACE published an issue brief and a summary of the new regulation.

Several lawsuits have been filed in federal court in Texas recently, challenging the new thresholds and the automatic updates every three years, one of which is seeking a temporary restraining order that could block the July 1 increase. But as the issue brief notes, it is difficult to predict whether these or other legal challenges will succeed in derailing any portion of the changes, to what extent, or when.

Financial Responsibility, Administrative Capability, Certification Procedures, and Ability to Benefit
Effective: July 1

Colleges and universities will need to implement most of the regulations included in the Department of Education’s (ED) final regulatory package by July 1, though a few portions have been delayed until Jan. 1, 2025. ED published a Dear Colleague Letter on implementing these regulations and held a webinar on transcript withholds with the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (view the slides here). Also, ACE published a summary of the final regulations.

Financial Value Transparency and Gainful Employment
Effective: July 1

While ED delayed the reporting deadline until Oct. 1, colleges and universities will need to implement the remainder of the regulations regarding financial value transparency, gainful employment, and a range of other topics by July 1. Read ACE’s summary of the final regulations here and its comments to ED on the implementation of the regulations here.

Net Neutrality
Effective: July 22

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved new regulations that allow the agency to categorize high-speed Internet as a utility, like water or electricity, and regulate broadband providers. ACE sent a letter in support of the proposal and the FCC published an FAQ guide on the new rules.

Title IX
Effective: August 1

The long-awaited final rule overhauling Title IX ushers in a yet another new era for how colleges and universities handle cases of sexual harassment and assault. The new regulations introduce significant shifts in how institutions address sexual harassment and assault allegations while expanding protections for LGBTQ+ and pregnant students. ACE published a summary of key provisions and a dedicated Title IX resource page, including a timeline of recent developments on the rule.

Federal district court judges in Louisiana and Kentucky have granted motions temporarily blocking the rule from going into effect in a combined 10 states, and there are multiple other pending lawsuits that challenge the rule.


Accessibility Regulations

Final regulations (April 24, 2024)

ACE comments (Oct. 3, 2023)

Higher Ed Dive overview (May 8, 2024)

Overtime Regulations

Final regulations (April 26, 2024)

Summary (April 24, 2024)

DOL resources

ACE issue brief (May, 2024)

Financial responsibility regulations

Final regulations (Oct. 31, 2023)

Summary (Oct. 24, 2023)

ED Dear Colleague Letter (May 16, 2024)

ED announcement on delay (April 9, 2024)

ED/AACRAO webinar (June 5, 2024)

ED/AACRAO slides (June 5, 2024)

FVT/GE regulations

Final regulations (Oct. 10, 2023)

Summary (Oct. 18, 2023)

ED resources

ACE comments on implementation (April 22, 2024)

Net neutrailty regulations

Final regulations (May 22, 2024)

FCC FAQ guide

ACE letter (Dec. 14, 2023)

Title IX regulations

Final regulations (April 29, 2024)

Summary (April 26, 2024)

ED overview

ACE resource page

ACE webinar (April 29, 2024)