dotEDU Live: Gainful Employment Rules 3.0, Student Loan Payments Return


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Aired June 1, 2023

Hosts Jon Fansmith and Sarah Spreitzer are joined by Emmanual Guillory, ACE’s newest government relations staffer, to discuss the ongoing saga of the Education Department’s gainful employment rules. They open the show with a brief chat about how the debt ceiling bill will impact higher education funding, student loans, and more.

Here are some of the links and references from this week’s show:

Education Faces Flat Funding Under Debt Ceiling Deal
Higher Ed Dive | May 30, 2023

Time Is Running Out for Colleges to Spend COVID-19 Relief Funds
EdTech Magazine | Feb 15, 2023

Speaker McCarthy Says Student Loan Payment Pause ‘Gone’ Under Debt Ceiling Deal. Here’s What That Means.
USA Today (sub. req.) | May 28, 2023

CHIPS Act Funding for Science and Research Falls Short
The New York Times (sub. req.) | May 30, 2023

New, Stronger Gainful Employment Regs Released
Inside Higher Ed | May 18, 2023

U.S. Department of Education, Financial Value Transparency and Gainful Employment, Financial Responsibility, Administrative Capability, Certification Procedures, Ability to Benefit
American Council on Education | May 25, 2023

Education Department Delays Final Title IX Rules Until October
Higher Ed Dive | May 30, 2023

House Republicans Grill Cardona Over Student Loan Repayment Pause, Other Higher Ed Policies
Higher Ed Dive | May 16, 2023

Momentum Building for Pell Grant Expansion
Inside Higher Ed | May 30, 2023


 Read this episode's transcript

Jon Fansmith: Hello, and welcome to, depending on how you want to define it, either the second May edition of dotEDU Live, or the early June edition of dotEDU Live, ACE's monthly policy discussion. I am your host, Jon Fansmith. And joining me today is my wonderful co-host, Sarah Spreitzer, and in addition, a new and very special guest to dotEDU Live, Emmanual Guillory. Hi, Emmanual.

Emmanual Guillory: Hello.

Sarah Spreitzer: I'm so happy to have Emmanual joining us, Jon, so it's not just me talking to you. This is great.

Jon Fansmith: Let me guarantee you, Sarah, you are not nearly as happy as I am to have Emmanual joining us on dotEDU Live, but joining us at ACE, because Emmanual is ACE's newest government relations member. You've been here just less than a month, Emmanual. Any inside scoops you want to share with people who are watching this about what it's like to work at ACE?

Emmanual Guillory: Well, I would say the inside scoops is that I work with amazing colleagues and everyone is very friendly and very welcoming. So I consider myself very fortunate to be a part of the ACE team.

Sarah Spreitzer: Aw, thanks Emmanual.

Jon Fansmith: I promise to people listening-

Sarah Spreitzer: That's true.

Jon Fansmith: ... we didn't set that up so he could say that. I think that's genuine. I hope it's genuine, but you are talking to those actual colleagues, so a little bit of skepticism you're that sincere about working with us. I know what it's like to work with us, so give it time.

Anyway, Emmanual is new at ACE. He is a senior director of government relations with us. One of the reasons I mentioned I'm so excited about him joining us is, he is taking over what was my old portfolio, a portfolio I love, that really touches on a lot of big and important issues to our members, particularly around student financial aid, both funding and policy, accountability, oversight, a lot of things in the regulatory space, especially around with HEA reauthorization and regulations coming out of HEA, so a big portfolio. Somebody that I think you'll all get to know very well as we move forward, and a lot of you may know Emmanual already from time at NAICU, which is where he came to ACE from and previously before that at UNCF and then on the Hill on the Education Workforce Committee. So well traveled and well experienced and just a great colleague and a great person to have working with us. So we know you'll like working with Emmanual just as much as we do.

But we have a few things to dig into. This is a pretty substantive slate of things to talk about and one of them, Emmanual, we're going to come back to you and talk a little bit about gainful employment in just a second, but before we do that, probably the big news of this week, really the big news here in Washington, not just in higher ed, is the debt ceiling deal. And we are moving through that process. For people who have not been tracking it over the weekend, the president and Speaker McCarthy reached agreement on the parameters of a budget deal. That deal was moved through the House Rules Committee yesterday, a divided vote, both Republicans and Democrats actually voting in opposition to it, but it did clear the rules committee. It is moving to the floor on a relatively aggressive schedule, in part because Treasury Secretary Yellen has said that the debt ceiling, we will hit it officially on June 5th, so they have until Monday to do something.

So moving forward aggressively, the deal itself is pretty interesting. I mean, I think you both would agree with me that it's an interesting deal. Publicly, it's been announced as a six-year spending limits deal. It would raise the debt ceiling into January of 2025, getting you past the... Yes, 2025. I saw the quizzical looks. We're all checking to make sure we have the dates right. January of 2025, moving this past the next election cycle so that whatever debt ceiling issues we have will not impact the next election. When we talk about it being a six-year deal functionally, it's really just a two year deal. There are spending caps, hard spending caps, enforceable spending caps in place for the next two years, after that there are still spending caps for those subsequent four years, but they're not enforceable, so functionally they're not much of a limitation on Congress.

Those caps not as dramatic as Republicans had hoped for and put forward in the Limit, Save, Grow Act that they had passed through the house, but still substantive cuts in terms of overall growth and spending. The Department of Defense spending for this year, the approaching fiscal year, which is fiscal year 24, is still allowed to grow as is VA healthcare. But everything else is capped at FY 23 levels, so essentially flat funding for everything outside of Department of Defense and VA healthcare. For fiscal year 25, there will be some growth in spending, but it's only 1%, so not a substantial amount. Significantly lower than the average of what spending increases by Congress. And certainly given the inflationary environment we're in, both flat funding and a 1% increase well below in many cases what we think is needed for the programs we care about.

Sarah Spreitzer: But Jon-

Jon Fansmith: There's also-

Sarah Spreitzer: I was just going to say that 1% growth is really far from where they started, right? Because I think when they started the negotiations, they were talking about deep across the board cuts. And so even allowing for 1% growth seems to be hopeful at least that we're not facing across the board 30% cuts or something to non-defense discretionary.

Jon Fansmith: Yeah, I mean, it's a great point and I think you can look at this in two different ways. The president came into these negotiations saying pass a clean debt limit, no caps on spending whatsoever. House Republicans laid out their plan in the Limit, Save, Grow Act, which would've cut current year funding back to FY22 levels, kept all of that on the non-defense side, so really $130 billion cut to non-defense spending. It's about a 30% cut in funding across those areas, so massive cuts. I mean, you went... much as negotiations do, they started with one side saying no cuts, one side saying massive cuts. And what we got were functionally not cuts, but significant limitations on the growth of federal spending. I think, and if either of you know the exact number, I think it's about 2.1 or 2.5 trillion in savings, the CBO scored this as?

Sarah Spreitzer: I haven't seen the score yet. I did actually read through it though, and when you were talking about a clean debt ceiling act, it's only 99 pages, which for some of these bills, I mean they can be massive. So to me it seemed fairly clean.

Jon Fansmith: Yeah, as much as the attention it's getting and as much as we were talking about the provisions, it's a relatively short and simple bill and it does give both sides a lot of what they were looking for. I think always in Washington DC people are looking for winners and losers and you can look at different pieces of this, different components. There's a lot of things in there that are specific to certain industries. There's things about permitting that weren't included that a lot of people, both Democrats and Republicans, had hoped to see. Things around environmental regulations, lots of little things, but the big picture things are relatively straightforward. They reached agreement on these top-level caps and are moving forward on a handful of other provisions. Some of those other savings they identified though, are our rescission to existing COVID relief funds and there's about $30 billion in savings as a result of that.

Now, I have had a number of questions from presidents, I don't know if either of you have as well about, “I still have some remaining HEERF funds. Does that mean I will have to give those funds back?" And the short answer is, no. The rescission are to un-obligated funds. The government essentially counts un-obligated funds as those that haven't been assigned out. So if you received funding through the government through the HEERF program, even if you have not spent that money yet, that money is obligated. They will not be asking for that back. The White House released a chart that says essentially there's $361 million in rescission that will come from the education stabilization fund. That's the big pool of money that both K-12 and higher ed was provided through the COVID relief funding across those three bills. 361 million is about... Well, it's very small relative to the 257 billion in overall funding through those programs between K-12 and higher ed.

So it's not clear exactly where that money will come from, but to be clear, if you have unspent HEERF funds, one, you should probably figure out exactly what you're doing with those too, because time is running out. June 30th is the deadline. But two, more importantly, the government will not be asking you to send those back. Those will not be impacted by this deal.

Emmanual Guillory: And Jon, I'll just hop in here quickly say that, depending on what sources you're looking at, it could be upwards to 400, 402 million actually being rescinded. So just wanted to...

Jon Fansmith: Okay, great. Well, not great, but thanks for the update.

Emmanual Guillory: Depending on 360 or 392 or 402, so just somewhere in that ballpark.

Jon Fansmith: Great. The other things specific to higher ed in this bill and this, a good example again of what we're talking about, compromise. Republicans in Limit, Save, Grow had asked for immediately resuming repayment of federal student loans, terminating the Biden loan forgiveness proposal, as well as putting further limits on the Department of Education from doing anything in the student loan space that would cost taxpayers additional money. The final deal included, in part, one of those. It would require the Department of Education to resume repayment of student loans by August 30th. This is in some ways a compromise. The administration obviously gave in on that request, but they had always said that they intended student loan payments resume by either following a Supreme Court decision around loan forgiveness or June 30th. And because of statutory requirements, that date would then be extended by two months while they implemented the changes necessary to accommodate.

So functionally, the administration was looking at really an August 30th deadline at the latest to resume repayment, so it's not necessarily they've been forced to start earlier than they intended. The bigger upside of that really is that, with it now in... Well, assuming the bill passes, and maybe we should have a conversation about that -- assuming the bill passes, there's a statutory limit. It can't go past August 30th. If for whatever reason the administration decides they would like to extend it further, they can't. This would prevent them from doing that. So for all intents and purposes, both from the administration side and now as a result of this bill, student loan repayments will resume starting September 1st. But Sarah, three's some other things I know that you were tracking a little bit more closely than I was. You want to talk about those?

Sarah Spreitzer: Yeah, I don't know if tracking is the right word, Jon, but other things that I noticed in the bill. You're talking about the student loan provisions, I mean, the Republican Congress has been worried about President Biden's use of executive power. And so there is language in there that would require the administration to find cuts for any executive action that would actually cost the federal government money. But then there's also a provision included in there that allows the office management and budget to waive that requirement if it's in national interest. And so there's a lot of exceptions to that rule.

I think for our community, one of the things that we've been working on for a while is food insecurity, specifically how it impacts our students. And this bill, which is one of the things that's causing a lot of heartache I think for progressives, would expand work requirements for people on the SNAP program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. And I think that that is really problematic as we get into discussing whether or not this will actually pass for some of the progressive Democrats in looking at the legislation.

Jon Fansmith: And Sarah, and Emmanual, you might be able to jump in on this one too, but I notice there's a question from Eric Canny who asks how could the funding for the CHIPS and science and infrastructure bills be affected? And Eric notes these bills represent a lot of funding for higher education.

Sarah Spreitzer: I would just jump in and I think Emmanual will have more to say about the appropriations process, but obviously CHIPS and Science included some very high authorizations for the federal research agencies and I think appropriations are going to be strained in the coming years because of these budget caps. So we will likely see some impact, overall, on the appropriations bills. But Emmanual, you follow appropriations more closely.

Jon Fansmith: Just-

Emmanual Guillory: Yeah.-

Jon Fansmith: Just, sorry Emmanual. Just before we jump in, I want to let people know, when Sarah mentioned authorizations in appropriations, that authorizations essentially is language in bills that say how much the government can spend on a program, doesn't actually say that they will spend that much. Appropriations is actually the process by which they determine how much actual money will go out to each program. So that's key distinction when you talk about that.

Sarah Spreitzer: Thanks, Jon.

Jon Fansmith: Sorry, Emmanual for interrupting.

Emmanual Guillory: No, that's okay. I'll just quickly say, Jon, you had mentioned earlier that there's hard caps for FY 2024 and FY 2025, but then after that there's basically appropriations targets that are not enforceable. So when we're looking at the appropriations process, when you break that down, what we're seeing is that $1.59 trillion is going to be the total cap for fiscal year 2024 and $1.6 trillion basically will be the cap for FY 2025. But then when you break that down even further, you will see a 3.5% increase for defense from FY 2023 levels. And you will see, Jon, as you mentioned, pretty much a flat level funding going into FY 2024 from FY 2023, which will put us at around $703.7 billion that committees will have for the non-defense discretionary to operate in and figure out how do we keep the federal government funded and what does that look like.

Moving into FY 2025, we are going to see around $710.7 billion. So you do see that 1% increase, Jon, as you mentioned earlier. And Jon, I don't remember, did you talk about the 1% cut if the appropriations process hasn't taken place by January 1st, 2024?

Jon Fansmith: I did not. I mentioned there were enforceable mechanisms, but why don't you spell those out?

Emmanual Guillory: Okay. If there's a continuing resolution by January 1, 2024, then basically we will see a 1% reduction for defense and non-defense spending. And so as I mentioned earlier, because there will be a 3.5% increase for defense for FY 2024, then that's going to be a pretty drastic cut. For non-defense because it's going to pretty much be the same in funding, maybe a little smidge lower, it's not going to be that drastic, but it's pretty much put in place to encourage lawmakers to actually get the appropriations bills through Congress. I just wanted to add that.

Jon Fansmith: It's that threat, especially I think compelling, the threat of a much bigger cut to defense. That's something people on both sides don't want to see happen. So it's a good spur towards the members to get these bills passed in time.

Sarah Spreitzer: So then to both of you on the FY 24 appropriations process, which we've already started. What does this mean for as they're marking up the bills? Will these budget caps be applied evenly across programs? Will this, perhaps, say what the 302b allocations are going to be for each committee? How is this going to play out?

Jon Fansmith: Take it, Emmanual.

Emmanual Guillory: Yeah, well I'll just say that we will see how it plays out. It could be evenly split, but it likely would not be evenly split because obviously members, they're going to prioritize different accounts over other accounts. And so depending on what the member's preferences are, of course with leadership too and how... Well we would have a 302a allocation, but then with a 302b and what that would look like. So it's all up in the air, but we can only continue to advocate and push for as minimal of a negative impact for institutions of higher education and our students as possible in moving forward with that.

One thing I think that we can be positive, or one thing that's positive, is even though there has been that threat of moving back to the FY 2022 levels in the Limit, Save, Grow Act, and then recently the White House put out a report that cuts could be up to 30% above that 22% initially that we were seeing, we were not necessarily hearing from Republicans who are in prominent leadership roles regarding the appropriations processes on the House side championing that necessarily. They were somewhat silent, which gave us hope that maybe they weren't entirely in agreement with a 22% cut, definitely not a 30% cut. And so I think that we can take that to mean that moving forward with funding, maybe it's not as bad as we were predicting. And Sarah, you had alluded to that earlier, that this bill is largely clean, only 99 pages, and it seems that this is a much better spot than what we thought we would be in right now.

Jon Fansmith: And we are lucky in that on the appropriations a lot of the leaders of the committees and subcommittees that impact higher ed know our programs, care about this, have a demonstrated record of supporting programs like Pell Grants and institutional support. It's a good point, Emmanual, to raise that they may not be comfortable even if the cuts are bigger than hoped, maybe sparing or at least lightening the load on some of the programs that are important to us. I'd also say Bill Andreessen had what I think is a pretty interesting question I think Emmanual, I'm hoping you can answer because I cannot. What happens to the 1% cut if Congress passes some but not all of the appropriations bills?

Emmanual Guillory: Well, that's a very good question. From the language, it pretty much just says if there's a continuing resolution, then there will be this 1% cut. I would say that if Congress successfully passed some, but not all, we can only... we don't know exactly how they're going to move forward with that. So I think that that's a good question and that's something that we would want to be on the lookout. But one thing that I will say, because of the makeup of the Republican party and you have your certain members who gave McCarthy such a hard time in even becoming the speaker, I think that the Freedom Caucus members and your more conservative members are going to pretty much expect and push for that 1% cut. It's an all-or-nothing sort of thing. I wouldn't be surprised if we were to see something of that nature, but only time will tell to be honest.

Jon Fansmith: Yeah, I think that makes sense. And clearly Bill has come up with a question that perhaps the negotiators had not thought through. Perhaps you should have been at the table, Bill.

Sticking with you Emmanual, but changing topics, gainful employment. Until the debt ceiling deal coalesced, I think this is probably the issue we heard the most about, talked the most about, were seeing the most coverage on, and you are ACE's lead on this. Let people know what they need to know about gainful employment proposed regulations.

Emmanual Guillory: First and foremost, gainful employment is so much more than just gainful employment. Obviously the department has a very rigorous, unified agenda. And within that, those issues that are actually a part of this notice of proposed rulemaking are the ability to benefit administrative capabilities, certification procedures, financial responsibility, and then gainful employment. But gainful employment is the hot topic. Definitely, this is something that originated back in beginning in 2009. There was the 2010 GE regulation and then it was amended by the 2014 on the Obama administration, then rescinded under Trump in 2019, I believe. And now here we are with the Biden administration putting out another proposed gainful employment regulation.

Some highlights here is that this is not the same as 2014. There are no draft rates that institutions will be able to have. There's not going to be a zone, period. Either you pass or you fail. There will be an opportunity for institutions to appeal that data through subpart G of the regulations, which is your termination procedures that have been a part of regulations for quite some time now. So the department is allowing for that to happen, which we're thankful that there is at least that process, because during the negotiated rulemaking sessions, we weren't sure if that was going to be allowed. There will be the ability of institutions to look at the list of students who would be a part of these cohorts.

Let's talk about the students, because I think the most important thing is the data, and how the data is being calculated. In the notice of proposed rule making, the department defines students as Title IV eligible students. So when you're looking at that and you're determining debt-to-income ratios, and you're determining something that's called an earnings premium, which basically means that if your graduates' earnings three years after they graduate are not higher than the earnings of high school graduates using data from the US Census Bureau for the age group of 25 to 34, then you basically fail something called your earnings premium.

Jon Fansmith: And those are the high school graduates in your state, right? It's state-by-state levels.

Emmanual Guillory: Yes, it's in your state. In thinking about that, in determining these metrics, you're looking at students who are taking on student loans or participating in Title IV somehow, some way, and so for programs that may not have any students that are utilizing Title IV at all, then even though now gainful employment is going to be expanding, and I'll get to that in a second, it's still primarily focused on students with Title IV: loans, grants, whatever the case may be.

But let's talk about this expansion. So gainful employment has generally been under subpart Q and now they have created a new subpart to put gainful employment in there, subpart S, but that's me being weedy. But this new financial value transparency piece is what I'm getting to, and it is in this section that gainful employment used to be in. But financial value transparency, this goes back to an announcement that the department had made about the student loan debt forgiveness proposal that's currently at the Supreme Court, and that was back in August of 2022. And in that announcement, they talked about looking at programs that have the worst outcomes for students. They used some language like that. And then in January of this year, there was a request for information around low financial value programs. And so this is a continuation and a build on something that we began to hear about back in August of 2022. And so with this financial value transparency, the department is basically requiring every single institution to report on every single program, but what's being reported on every program-

Jon Fansmith: Every program, not every gainful employment program. Every program offered by institutions that's Title IV eligible.

Emmanual Guillory: That's exactly right. Every single program offered by institutions will have a debt-to-earnings rate calculated and will have an earnings premium rate calculated. But I want to make sure that I'm clear that it is for students with Title IV eligibility. That's how you determine the debt-to-rate income ratio. That's how you determine the earnings premium ratio. And it has to be a cohort of 30 or more who have completed over the past two years or over a four year cohort period. And so if there are less than 30 students in a two year or four year cohort period, then there are no debt-to-earnings rates calculations, there are no earnings premium calculations, that sort of thing.

With these new calculations, there's something that gives us a little bit of pause. There's a section in there called supplemental performance measures. And in that particular section, the secretary would have the ability to look at these debt-to-earnings rates and the ability to look at the earnings premium along with educational spending, withdrawal rates, licensure passed rates of course, and basically say, we are going to put your program participation agreement on provisional status because you failed a couple of these DE rates, earnings premiums, and we're concerned, or we're going to decide to not renew your PPA as it is. That is a little bit concerning when the secretary would have the ability to basically cut an institution off from Title IV funding through their PPA agreement due to some of these rates.

Jon Fansmith: Emmanual, just for one second, PPA is?

Emmanual Guillory: Program participation agreement.

Jon Fansmith: Which is the agreement institutions sign with the Department of Education to follow certain rules that makes them eligible for Title IV.

Emmanual Guillory: Yep. With that, we have questions. Obviously, what that could mean is that institutions would basically submit another eligibility and certification approval report, I believe I got that right, back to the department in order to remove those programs that have failed from their PPA and then move forward in that way, but at the same time, it's still unclear entirely and that is concerning to us.

But another thing that becomes concerning is, even within these new rates, there are acknowledgements and warnings, obviously they have to be reported. The warnings are not new. Warnings from gainful employment took place in 2014, but there's a new acknowledgement from the financial value transparency that if there is a failing program or if a program could fail, which there's a three-year window, if you have failing rates within two years, two consecutive years, then you fail. So that means that the very first year that institution may receive a failing debt-to-income ratio. Then they have to send an acknowledgement to their current and prospective students or a warning if it's technically a GE program, a non-degree program at public and private nonprofits in institutions or any program at a for-profit institution. And that is an additional step, an additional reporting requirement too, as well.

One thing that I want to highlight is, for an institution to pass debt-to-earnings ratios, there is an annual rate and a discretionary rate. And basically a student cannot... If they're paying more than 20% of their discretionary income in their loan payments, then that is going to fail.

Jon Fansmith: How is the discretionary rate determined?

Emmanual Guillory: The discretionary rate is determined based on your median annual loan payment divided by your median annual earnings minus the product of 1.5% times the poverty level. That is the equation for determining discretionary-

Jon Fansmith: Just as simple as that.

Emmanual Guillory: Just as simple as that. And for the annual rate, it's literally your median annual loan payment divided by your median annual earnings. That's determining your annual loan rate.

Using those calculations, if you pass the discretionary but you fail the annual, you pass, which is good, so you only have to pass one or the other there, which is very, very good. But with the earnings premium, it's either pass or fail, the earnings premium. And the earnings premium and the… debt-to-income ratio, they do not have a relationship. So in two of three consecutive years, you can pass one, you can fail the other, right? And if you don't pass in two of those three consecutive years, then you could potentially lose access to your Title IV funding, which then becomes concerning. I think that that's really important to point out.

Another thing that's important to point out is there are additional reporting requirements too as well within gainful employment. Institutions have to report on all programs, and they will have to report retroactively on those programs by the time the rule goes into effect, which would be July 1, 2024. So by July 31st of 2024, they will have to report on the second to seventh years for your non-medical and dental programs, a whole list of things about the institution and about the students, and also about non-Title IV students too as well. So I think that is important to note, because as I started the conversation, I talked about the definition of students that's used in the NPRM being Title IV only, but when it comes to reporting on these programs, which you're reporting on all programs, every single program, not just GE programs, there is a section in there that deals with reporting for non-Title IV students too as well. And I still haven't said everything.

Sarah Spreitzer: No, I know there's so much in this Emmanual, and I think that you provided a really great summary that I think is posted on our website of everything that's in this regulatory package. We did have a couple questions come in while you were speaking. The first is, this applies to publics and privates. Again, you talked about it applies to students who are Title IV eligible. I know we are going to be responding to this enormous regulatory package. What's the timeline for that? They must be giving us a lot of time because this is so complicated, right?

Emmanual Guillory: Yeah, Sarah, that's a really good question. We only get 30 days. So by June 20th, we have to have our comments in. And actually, we sent a letter requesting for an additional 30 days, because there is so much here. Even so far in our conversation, I went into some detail about gainful employment, and it sounded like I went into a lot of detail, but it was really only some of the details there. And then the other issue areas I touched on very high level that I touch on those things. So we are working on a substantive comment letter, and we do want to address a number of the things in greater detail because it will have an impact on students, it will have an impact on institutions of higher education, and we want to make sure we're doing our due diligence. 30 days arguably is not enough time to be as substantive as we should be in order to be the best advocates as we should be. But that is where we are right now, so we are doing our best to comply.

Sarah Spreitzer: We'll keep our fingers crossed that we hear back from the department that they give us a little more time.

Jon Fansmith: And we are grateful to have you tracking this as closely as you are Emmanual. Again, for everybody watching, benefit from Emmanual's wisdom and expertise, check out the summary he prepared for you, which I think has been dropped into the chat.

I'm just going to jump in with one other quick regulatory announcement. And I know Sarah, you had a couple things you wanted to touch on, but Title IX, we have been tracking when the Title IX regulations would be released for quite a while, and there was speculation that we would see them in April, then in May, then in June. The department actually came out and announced last week that no, indeed, October will be when the final Title IX regulations are released. That will be obviously later than I think some people had expected. The other question will be the timeline for implementation by which you need to come into compliance. And actually, I'm trying to remember, did they state when institutions would need to be in compliance? What was the window for that as part of the announcing the schedule? Or are they going to wait until they release the regs? Do either of you know? It's okay.

Sarah Spreitzer: We'll have to follow up with people.

Jon Fansmith: Maybe somebody can drop it in the chat. But Sarah, I know there's a couple other things you wanted to touch on?

Sarah Spreitzer: Yeah, I was just going to mention that the House, two House members last week introduced the closest we've gotten to a comprehensive immigration bill called the Dignity Act. This was introduced by Congresswoman Salazar, a Republican from Florida, and Congresswoman Escobar, a Democrat from Texas. It's of note because it is bipartisan. We haven't seen large immigration bills with bipartisan support. In the last Congress they were very rare. This includes the Dream and Promise Act, which previously passed the House, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for qualified DACA recipients and dreamers. It would create a new program called The Dignity Program that would allow undocumented immigrants who qualify and wish to register for work authorization the opportunity to get a renewable work authorization and remain in the US with deferred removal. However, it would come at a cost of $10,000 and that $10,000 would be put into an American Worker Relief Fund and that funding would go for retraining for jobs and up skilling.

I think that there's a lot of concerns about the cost of the program, but I think people are hopeful that this is a start of a conversation. And obviously we continue to ask Congress to provide some certainty for our dreamers and for our DACA recipients, especially as we sit here wondering when the Supreme Court may take up the next case around DACA. We really need Congress to act. Unclear the pathway for this piece of legislation, but notable since it's bipartisan, and we hope that at least it means that Congress is moving forward in having these conversations.

Jon Fansmith: A hopeful sign, even if I think expectations are we won't see it move to enactment. But thank you Sarah. And Emmanual, I know we only have a couple minutes left, but there's been some activity in the House of impact to higher education. You want to tell people about that?

Emmanual Guillory: On the House side the committee has been busy and Secretary Cardona has been up for an oversight hearing and the members definitely wanted to get a firm yes that there will be no more extensions of the student loan repayment pause, Republican members at least. And then they've also had Richard Cordray and James Kvaal too, to talk about a whole number of things, the new IDR plan, the student loan debt forgiveness proposal, section 117, the student loan debt repayment pause, and just any other thing you can think of that members... Definitely Title IX issues, definitely transgender, athletic sort of issues that a number of members had talked about and brought up.

But there has been robust conversations. We're not surprised that we've seen around 11, now more than 11, oversight letters from the committee to the Department of Education or just the federal government in general about what they believe to be an overreach. And with the Congressional Review Act resolution that was passed by the House and that's going to the Senate this week. And we're hearing that the Senate might take it up to, is today Wednesday? Today. It's hard to keep track of the days now. I'm in Washington state everyone, by the way, so I'm three hours behind. I had 27 hours in my 24 hour day yesterday, which I enjoyed the advantage of.

So there's a lot of movement happening. And I know that the committee is obviously still thinking about the HEA. Right now there's been a pivot, obviously, in Oversight because of all the things that the department has been doing, but I know that there's still a focus on HEA reauthorization and quietly behind the scenes I know that committee staff is working on an HEA reauthorization bill and what does the majority want to see there and how that will take place. Lots of fun happening in the halls of Congress

Jon Fansmith: Lots happening. And one other thing, reports this week about short-term Pell and negotiations between committee staff majority minority about advancing a bill around Pell for short-term programs. So not just a lot of activity in the hearing space, but as you pointed out, a lot going on negotiating behind the scenes that may advance a few issues that we are tracking.

We are running right up against the time. I noticed there was a question, a couple quick questions. Earlier, Danny Bounds had asked about the deadline for HEERF and ESSR funds. That is June 30th. It was supposed to be last year. The department extended it. You can ask for an extension for another year, but the department is applying a pretty healthy level of scrutiny as to exactly why you need that extension at this point. So there is the possibility of pushing it beyond that, but you need to have a pretty compelling argument as to why.

I think with that, we are now up against the line, and we want to thank you all for joining us today. Thank Emmanual for joining us in your first dotEDU Live appearance. I think safe to say, we'll be seeing you back again, probably very soon. And thank you all for attending. We hope it was as useful for you and as fun for you as it was for us. Thanks everyone.

Emmanual Guillory: Thank you.

Sarah Spreitzer: As always, you can check out earlier episodes and subscribe to dotEDU on Apple, Google Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. For show notes and links to the resources mentioned in the episode, you can go to our website at While there, please take a short survey to let us know how we're doing. You can also email us at to give us suggestions on upcoming shows and guests.

And finally, a very big thank you to the producers who help pull this podcast together, Laurie Arnston, Audrey Hamilton, Malcolm Moore, Anthony Trueheart, Rebecca Morris, Jack Nicholson, and Fatma NGom. They do an incredible job making this happen and making Jon, Mushtaq and I sound as good as possible. Finally, thank you so much to all of you for listening.

About the Podcast

​Each episode of dotEDU presents a deep dive into a major public policy issue impacting college campuses and students across the country. Hosts from ACE are joined by guest experts to lead you through thought-provoking conversations on topics such as campus free speech, diversity in admissions, college costs and affordability, and more. Find all episodes of the podcast at the dotEDU page.

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