Federal Aid Freed for Online California Students Enrolled at Out-of-State Institutions August 09, 2019 Section 1 Content Federal financial aid dollars are once again available to tens of thousands of California students enrolled in online programs at nonprofit out-of-state colleges and universities. The Department of Education (ED) last month announced that an estimated 80,000 California online students were ineligible for federal financial aid because the state did not have a process in place for students to submit complaints about their institutions. That provision was part of the so-called state authorization rules—regulations aimed at overseeing federal aid for distance learning—that the department began enforcing in May. Officials in California proposed to solve the problem by launching a new complaint process, and in a letter Aug. 2, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Education Diane Auer Jones deemed that process acceptable. Background: Last year, the Trump administration delayed implementing the Obama administration’s 2016 state authorization regulation to 2020, as they worked on developing a new version. A new rule was agreed upon this spring by a negotiated rulemaking committee as part of a package of accreditation regulations. This regulation is not yet in effect, although ED is working to finalize it more quickly than normal, as ACE urged in a letter to Secretary Betsy DeVos last month. Following a lawsuit by the National Education Association challenging ED’s delay, Judge Laurel Beeler of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in April against the department and ordered it to immediately implement the 2016 rule. ED appealed the ruling to the 9th Circuit Court but announced today that it was dropping the appeal. That rule links financial aid eligibility to individual states having either 1) a process for online students to submit complaints about their institutions to a state agency in the state where they live or 2) a reciprocity agreement with other states addressing avenues for consumer complaints, such as the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). Up until now, California has not had such a process in place. It also is the only state that is not participating in NC-SARA, which would relieve it of the responsibility of having its own complaint process.In her letter, Jones noted that “although the State of California's proposed plan presents compliance challenges,” the department’s 2019 negotiated rulemaking process rule will provide more flexibility to the complaint process. Therefore, ED is considering California “to have had an acceptable plan in place dating back to May 26, 2019” when it began enforcing the state authorization rule and, most importantly, “no student will experience an interruption in his or her education or federal student aid.” Section 2 Content Section 3 Content Section 4 Content Section 5 Content Section 6 Content Button Content Rail Content 1 Rail Content 2 Rail Content 3 Related News January 17, 2020 The House of Representatives voted 231-180 to pass a resolution to block Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' new borrower defense rule from going into effect. Read More News January 17, 2020 House Votes to Block Education Department Rule on Borrower Defense News January 13, 2020 The December webinar, “Whither Higher Education Act Reauthorization?” is now archived exclusively on ACE Engage®, ACE’s online community and learning platform. Read More News January 13, 2020 Missed Our Recent Webinar on HEA Reauthorization? No Problem, See It On ACE Engage. News December 13, 2019 Congress gave final approval Dec. 10 to the FUTURE Act, a bill that will restore and make permanent a $255 million per year funding stream for minority serving institutions. Read More News December 13, 2019 Congress Approves FUTURE Act Online Event December 10, 20191:00 PM to 1:45 PM This webinar will provide an overview of the prospects for HEA reauthorization, major issues involved with the legislation, and the implications for colleges and universities. Read More Online Event December 10, 20191:00 PM to 1:45 PM Whither HEA Reauthorization? News December 9, 2019 The Dec. 4 conversation, the first in a monthly series of Public Policy Pop-Ups, was hosted on ACE Engage®, ACE's peer-to-peer online community and learning platform. Read More News December 9, 2019 Public Policy Pop-Ups on ACE Engage Keep Campus Leaders in the Loop News December 9, 2019 The Senate has approved an amendment to the FUTURE Act that would permanently restore $255 million in funding for minority serving institutions and streamline the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Read More News December 9, 2019 Senate Approves Compromise Measure to Extend MSI Funding, Simplify FAFSA News December 2, 2019 ACE is debuting a new feature called the Public Policy Pop-Up on ACE Engage®, ACE’s peer-to-peer online community and learning platform for higher education executives. Read More News December 2, 2019 Introducing Monthly Live Policy Updates on ACE Engage News November 25, 2019 ACE to host a webinar on the upcoming revised Title IX campus sexual assault regulations, and one on ED's proposed expansion of requirements for foreign gift and contract reporting. Read More News November 25, 2019 Coming Soon: ACE Webinars on Final Title IX Rule and Proposed Expansion of Foreign Gift and Contract Reporting Requirements News November 18, 2019 Register now for a Dec. 10 ACE webinar exploring whether the Higher Education Act (HEA) will be reauthorized anytime soon. Read More News November 18, 2019 ACE Webinar: Whither HEA Reauthorization?