Department of Education and the Higher Education Act

The Issue

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The U.S. Department of Education (ED) administers most federal student financial aid, collects data on the nation’s colleges and universities, and implements most of the federal higher education policies created by Congress. It also enforces laws regarding privacy, civil rights, and other issues for institutions that accept federal funds.

The primary law through which ED administers these programs is the Higher Education Act (HEA), first passed in 1965. Since then, HEA has been rewritten eight times. The current HEA was last reauthorized in 2008 and expired at the end of fiscal year 2014.

As Congress works towards a long-overdue reauthorization, among the issues that will be debated are affordability and college costs; access, retention, and completion; better information for consumers; student loan programs and student loan repayment; accreditation and oversight; innovation; campus safety, and the burden of federal regulations. The American Council on Education works with Congress and the presidential administration on an ongoing basis to ensure the views of its members are reflected in policy discussions and during the reauthorization process.

Our Work
Proposed Changes to FAFSA for the 2025-26 Award Year
May 22, 2024
Proposed Changes to FAFSA for the 2025-26 Award Year
Along with 35 other higher education associations, ACE sent this letter to the House Education and the Workforce Committee urging lawmakers to undertake a long-term assessment of the FAFSA delays' impact on students and make other changes for the 2025-...
ACE Analysis Shows College Cost Reduction Act Could Lead to Cuts in Higher Education Funding
May 20, 2024
ACE Analysis Shows College Cost Reduction Act Could Lead to Cuts in Higher Education Funding
ACE sent a letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce last week, outlining its analysis of the College Cost Reduction Act's (CCRA) impact on student loans, risk-sharing for institutions, and other key provisions.
Letter to the House on the College Cost Reducation Act
May 16, 2024
Letter to the House on the College Cost Reducation Act
ACE wrote to the leadership of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce with an analysis of the formulas included in the College Cost Reducation Act, which would negatively impact institutions if enacted.
Comments to ED on Proposed Changes to IPEDS
May 3, 2024
Comments to ED on Proposed Changes to IPEDS
Comments to the Education Department on behalf of five additional organizations on proposed changes to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
Comments on Financial Value Transparency and Gainful Employment Reporting Requirements
April 22, 2024
Comments on Financial Value Transparency and Gainful Employment Reporting Requirements
Comments from ACE and 29 other higher education associations in response to the Deparment of Education's information collection request on the financial value transparency and gainful employment reporting requirements.
Summary: The Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act
April 18, 2024
Summary: The Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act
Summary of the Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act, a bill that would subject institutions to prescriptive policy requirements and disclosures related to free speech.
The Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act: Key Concerns
April 18, 2024
The Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act: Key Concerns
A summary of ACE's primary areas of concern regarding the Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act.
Survey Reveals Impact of Problems with New FAFSA System
April 1, 2024
Survey Reveals Impact of Problems with New FAFSA System
​To better understand the challenges faced by institutions with the new FAFSA system, ACE, along with EDUCAUSE and the National Association of College and University Business Officers, conducted a survey targeting stakeholders at member institutions.
dotEDU Live: Budget Battles, FAFSA Fails, and Biden's New Loan Forgiveness Plan
April 18, 2024
dotEDU Live: Budget Battles, FAFSA Fails, and Biden's New Loan Forgiveness Plan
With Congress back from spring break, Jon and Sarah look at what's on the agenda in DC.
Congress, Higher Ed Leaders Urge Education Department to Address FAFSA Issues
April 15, 2024
Congress, Higher Ed Leaders Urge Education Department to Address FAFSA Issues
Members of Congress and higher education leaders last week continued to highlight how the disastrous rollout of the revised FAFSA is affecting students, while urging the Department of Education to promptly address the ongoing problems.
FAFSA Survey Results Sent to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona
March 28, 2024
FAFSA Survey Results Sent to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona
To better understand the challenges faced by institutions with the new FAFSA system, ACE, EDUCAUSE and NACUBO conducted this survey targeting various campus stakeholders. Results were sent to the Department of Education.
Comments on Proposed Rule for Title VI Program Changes
March 25, 2024
Comments on Proposed Rule for Title VI Program Changes
Comments to the Department of Education form ACE and 16 other higher education groups on the proposed rule regarding the National Resource Centers and Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships programs.
Letter on the Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act
March 20, 2024
Letter on the Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act
On behalf of five other higher education organizations, ACE wrote to leadership of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce in opposition to the Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act.
Letter on Institutional and Programmatic Accountability Rule Implementation
March 14, 2024
Letter on Institutional and Programmatic Accountability Rule Implementation
On behalf of 22 other higher education organizations, ACE wrote to the Education Department to share concerns institutions of higher education have regarding implementation of the rules on institutional and programmatic accountability that were finaliz...
FAFSA Glitches Leave Students, Colleges in Limbo
March 1, 2024
FAFSA Glitches Leave Students, Colleges in Limbo
Hosts Jon and Mushtaq are joined by special repeat guest Justin Draeger, president and CEO of NASFAA, to talk about the Education Department’s flawed rollout of the new FAFSA form and the implications for students and colleges as well as what happens next
dotEDU Live: Is Higher Education Act Reauthorization Finally Happening?
February 22, 2024
dotEDU Live: Is Higher Education Act Reauthorization Finally Happening?
ACE’s Emmanual Guillory, senior director of government relations, joins hosts Jon Fansmith and Sarah Spreitzer to talk about the College Cost Reduction Act—the new Higher Education Act reauthorization bill from House Republicans.
Colleges Extend Deadlines Amid FAFSA Troubles; Department of Education Unveils Additional Relief Measures
February 16, 2024
Colleges Extend Deadlines Amid FAFSA Troubles; Department of Education Unveils Additional Relief Measures
​A growing number of colleges and universities, public and private, are taking action to help admitted students have adequate time to compare financial aid offers in the wake of the Department of Education’s rollout of the new FAFSA form.
House Education Committee Approves College Cost Reduction Act
February 5, 2024
House Education Committee Approves College Cost Reduction Act
The House Education and the Workforce Committee voted to pass the College Cost Reduction Act, an overhaul of federal student aid, lending, repayment, and accreditation processes meant to be a significant step toward reauthorizing the Higher Education Act.
Summary: A Roadmap To College Student Success
February 2, 2024
Summary: A Roadmap To College Student Success
On Jan. 30, 2024, Democrats on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce unveiled the Roadmap to College Student Success, a package of six previously introduced bills to address college affordability, access, and student support.
Summary: A Roadmap To College Student Success
February 2, 2024
Summary: A Roadmap To College Student Success
On Jan. 30, 2024, Democrats on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce unveiled the Roadmap to College Student Success, a package of six previously introduced bills to address college affordability, access, and student support.
Higher Ed Groups Urge Flexible Enrollment and Financial Aid Deadlines in the Wake of FAFSA Delays
January 31, 2024
Higher Ed Groups Urge Flexible Enrollment and Financial Aid Deadlines in the Wake of FAFSA Delays
​The Education Department has announced that higher education institutions and states can expect to receive applicant information from the new FAFSA in the “first half of March,” backtracking on their commitment to deliver the information in January.
Letter to the House on the College Cost Reduction Act
January 30, 2024
Letter to the House on the College Cost Reduction Act
On behalf of 14 other higher education organizations, ACE wrote to leadership of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce with concerns about some provisions of the College Cost Reduction Act, along with support for others.
Summary: The Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act
December 7, 2023
Summary: The Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act
Summary of the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act (H.R. 6585), a bill intended to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to use the Pell Grant for short-term programs.
Talking Points: Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act
December 7, 2023
Talking Points: Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act
Outlining concerns with the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act (H.R. 6585), a bill intended to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to use the Pell Grant for short-term programs.
ACE, Groups Urge FSA to Work With the Higher Education Community to Ensure Smooth Transition to New FAFSA
November 20, 2023
ACE, Groups Urge FSA to Work With the Higher Education Community to Ensure Smooth Transition to New FAFSA
The Education Department has announced a timeline for its long-awaited overhaul of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which aims to simplify the application process and broaden access to financial aid.
Letter to ED on Implementation of the Updated FAFSA
November 17, 2023
Letter to ED on Implementation of the Updated FAFSA
On behalf of six other higher education associations, ACE urged the Department of Education to deepen its communication with the higher education community to ensure successful implementation of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Summary: The Department of Education's Final Rule on Institutional and Programmatic Accountability
October 26, 2023
Summary: The Department of Education's Final Rule on Institutional and Programmatic Accountability
On Oct. 24, the Department of Education formed released final rules covering financial responsibility, administrative capability, certification procedures, and ability to benefit.
Letter to MSCHE on Third-Party Providers Policy
October 20, 2023
Letter to MSCHE on Third-Party Providers Policy
ACE, on behalf of five other higher education associations, wrote to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education with concerns about a proposal to broaden the definition of a third-party provider.
Summary: The Department of Education's Final Gainful Employment Rule
October 19, 2023
Summary: The Department of Education's Final Gainful Employment Rule
A summary of the Department of Education's final regulations on financial value transparency and gainful employment. The regulations will go into effect on July 1, 2024.
Letter to ED on FAFSA Release Date
October 13, 2023
Letter to ED on FAFSA Release Date
ACE, along with 11 other higher education organizations, wrote to the Department of Education urging officials to announce the date on which the updated Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available.
Comments on ED's Financial Data Working Group Proposal
July 13, 2023
Comments on ED's Financial Data Working Group Proposal
Comments to the Department of Education on the proposal to create a new working group to improve the way it collects financial data on higher education institutions.
Comments on the Education Department's May 2023 NPRM
June 20, 2023
Comments on the Education Department's May 2023 NPRM
Comments from ACE and 47 other organizations to the Department of Education on proposed rules on gainful employment and a range of other issues.
Request for a Comprehsensive Examination of the New FAFSA Need Analysis
June 8, 2023
Request for a Comprehsensive Examination of the New FAFSA Need Analysis
Letter from ACE and 16 other higher education groups to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona requesting a comprehensive examination of how the new FAFSA need analysis formula will impact students and families
Summary of May 2023 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from the Department of Education
May 25, 2023
Summary of May 2023 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from the Department of Education
The Department of Education issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on May 19, 2023, with comments due on June 20. If the Department finalizes the rule by November 1, the final rules would go into effect on July 1, 2024.
Request for Extension to Submit Comments on Education Department's Proposed Rules Package
May 19, 2023
Request for Extension to Submit Comments on Education Department's Proposed Rules Package
Letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona requesting an extension on the 30-day comment period for the package of proposed rules released May 17 on gainful employment, financial responsibility, administrative capability, certified procedures, and ab...
Comments to OMB on Proposed Updates to Race/Ethnicity Data
April 27, 2023
Comments to OMB on Proposed Updates to Race/Ethnicity Data
ACE and 16 other higher education associations sent these comments to the Office of Management and Budget on proposed changes to the policy directive that governs the collection of data on race and ethnicity by federal agencies.
Comments on the Department of Education's Proposed Negotiated Rulemaking Sessions
April 24, 2023
Comments on the Department of Education's Proposed Negotiated Rulemaking Sessions
ACE sent a letter to the Department of Education requesting the formation of several panels to consider the topics to be addressed in upcoming negotiated rulemaking sessions.
ACE, Other Groups Send Comments to ED on Third-Party Servicers Guidance
April 3, 2023
ACE, Other Groups Send Comments to ED on Third-Party Servicers Guidance
On behalf of more than 80 other higher education organizations, ACE sent comments March 29 to the Department of Education about the guidance on third-party servicers that ED released in February.
Letter to the Education Department on Third-Party Servicers
March 29, 2023
Letter to the Education Department on Third-Party Servicers
Comments from ACE, on behalf of 84 other organizations, to the Department of Education addressing the Dear Colleague Letter that outlines ED’s proposed expansion of the definition for when an outside contractor is a “third-party servicer.”
Comments on the 2020 Free Inquiry Rule
March 24, 2023
Comments on the 2020 Free Inquiry Rule
Comments from ACE, on behalf of 14 other organizations, to the Department of Education on the request for information seeking input on the final "Free Inquiry Rule" issued in 2020.
Comments on Proposal to Rescind Rule on Religious Student Organizations
March 24, 2023
Comments on Proposal to Rescind Rule on Religious Student Organizations
Comments in response to the Education Department's proposed rule to rescind the current regulation that prohibits public institutions from denying religious student organizations the same benefits as student groups with "all comer" policies.
Background Information and Implications for Campuses: Department of Education Dear Colleague Letter on Third-Party Servicers
March 21, 2023
Background Information and Implications for Campuses: Department of Education Dear Colleague Letter on Third-Party Servicers
On Feb. 15, ED issued a Dear Colleague Letter, “Requirements and Responsibilities for Third-Party Servicers and Institutions.” The DCL guidance, which takes effect Sept. 1, would drastically expand the definition of a TPS.
ACE, Higher Ed Groups Ask Again for Clarification on Foreign Gift and Contract Reporting
March 6, 2023
ACE, Higher Ed Groups Ask Again for Clarification on Foreign Gift and Contract Reporting
ACE and other higher education groups sent comments to the Department of Education Feb. 27 in response to the December Federal Register notice requesting feedback on recent changes to how colleges and universities report foreign gifts and contracts.
Comments on Section 117 Information Collection Request
February 27, 2023
Comments on Section 117 Information Collection Request
Comments to the Department of Education Federal Student Aid Office in response to the proposed Information Collection Request on Higher Education Act Section 117, foreign gift and contract reporting.
Request for Extension on Third-Party Servicers Comment Deadline
February 23, 2023
Request for Extension on Third-Party Servicers Comment Deadline
Letter to the Education Department requesting an extension of the May 1 deadline to submit information and comments on ED's planned expansion of the definition of when an outside contractor is a “third party servicer.”
Comments on Possible Changes to ED's Incentive Compentation Prohibition and Bundled Services
March 16, 2023
Comments on Possible Changes to ED's Incentive Compentation Prohibition and Bundled Services
Comments from ACE, on behalf of 14 other organizations, to the Department of Education on possible changes to the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter on the incentive compensation prohibition and bundled services exception.
ACE, Groups Call for Overhaul of the Federal Financial Aid System in Comments on Education Department’s Income-driven Repayment Plans
February 13, 2023
ACE, Groups Call for Overhaul of the Federal Financial Aid System in Comments on Education Department’s Income-driven Repayment Plans
ACE and 29 other higher education associations have expressed their appreciation to the Department of Education for making “important and long overdue corrections” in its proposal to overhaul the student loan income-driven repayment plan.
Comments on Proposal to Identify Low-value Programs
February 10, 2023
Comments on Proposal to Identify Low-value Programs
Letter from ACE and 21 other higher education organizations to the Department of Education in response to the Request for Information on ways to identify low-value postsecondary programs.
Comments on Proposed Changes to REPAYE IDR Plan
February 10, 2023
Comments on Proposed Changes to REPAYE IDR Plan
ACE, on behalf of 29 other higher education organizations, sent comments to the Department of Education supporting changes to the REPAYE income-driven repayment plan that help borrowers struggling to pay their student loans.
​Education Department Issues Final Rules on Student Debt Relief, Other Programs
November 4, 2022
​Education Department Issues Final Rules on Student Debt Relief, Other Programs
The Department of Education released final regulations on targeted student debt relief programs on Oct. 31, hitting the Nov. 1 deadline to meet an implementation date of July 1, 2023.
Comments to the Department of Education on Draft Title IX Rule
September 12, 2022
Comments to the Department of Education on Draft Title IX Rule
Comments from ACE and nearly 50 other groups on the Biden administration's proposed revisions to the regulations implementing Title IX, the landmark civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination at colleges and universities that receive fede...
ACE, Other Groups Comment on Education Department Title IX Draft Rule
September 12, 2022
ACE, Other Groups Comment on Education Department Title IX Draft Rule
The groups thank the department for its efforts to provide greater flexibility and urge additional clarity and flexibility to help colleges and universities fulfill the promise of the law.
Comments to the Education Department on Title IV NPRM
August 26, 2022
Comments to the Education Department on Title IV NPRM
Comments from ACE and 16 other associations to the Department of Education in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking regarding Title IV of the Higher Education Act.
Letter to Education Department Urging Extension of PSLF Waiver
August 18, 2022
Letter to Education Department Urging Extension of PSLF Waiver
As the Oct. 31 deadline for the extension of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver nears, ACE and six other higher education groups urge Secretary Miguel Cardona to extend the waiver in order to better align with proposed regulatory changes.
ACE, Associations Offer Recommendations for Final Student Loan Forgiveness Regulations
August 15, 2022
ACE, Associations Offer Recommendations for Final Student Loan Forgiveness Regulations
ACE and 23 other higher ed groups submitted comments to the Education Department on draft rules to enhance protections for defrauded borrowers, improve Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and make other revisions to student loan discharge regulations.
Comments to the Education Department on Student Loan Forgiveness NPRM
August 12, 2022
Comments to the Education Department on Student Loan Forgiveness NPRM
ACE and 23 other associations sent these comments to the Department of Education in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking regarding targeted student loan forgiveness.
ACE, Other Associations Comment on Proposed Changes to IPEDS
July 7, 2022
ACE, Other Associations Comment on Proposed Changes to IPEDS
As the Department of Education considers changes to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) survey, ACE and three other higher education associations submitted comments raising concerns. ​
Comments on Proposed Changes to IPEDS
July 1, 2022
Comments on Proposed Changes to IPEDS
Comments to the Education Department on proposed changes to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, focusing on reporting of gender, categorizing non-resident students, and the expansion of enrollment counts.
Education Department Proposes New Title IX Regulations on Campus Sexual Assault, Expands Protections for LGBTQ+ Students
June 27, 2022
Education Department Proposes New Title IX Regulations on Campus Sexual Assault, Expands Protections for LGBTQ+ Students
The Department of Education has issued a proposed rule revising the Trump-era Title IX regulations, another major overhaul to how colleges must respond to sexual assault and harassment.
WEBINAR: How the PSLF Waiver Can Help Your Campus
June 29, 2022
WEBINAR: How the PSLF Waiver Can Help Your Campus
ACE is partnering with the Department of Education for a one-hour webinar on July 12 that will help attendees learn more about the temporary changes to the PSLF program and how those changes will help more people have their student loans forgiven.
Webinar Helps Colleges Learn More About Using Federal Relief Dollars to Support Student Mental Health
May 31, 2022
Webinar Helps Colleges Learn More About Using Federal Relief Dollars to Support Student Mental Health
Watch the May 25 ACE-Department of Education webinar to learn more about how federal relief dollars can help colleges and universities expand mental health resources for their students.
The Policy and Politics of Student Loan Forgiveness
May 19, 2022
The Policy and Politics of Student Loan Forgiveness
Almost everyone has an opinion about student loan forgiveness. But it's often more complicated than many think. Jon Fansmith and Terry Hartle look at what might happen in the coming months.
Title IX, DACA, Gainful Employment: New Rules Coming for Higher Ed
February 24, 2022
Title IX, DACA, Gainful Employment: New Rules Coming for Higher Ed
Host Sarah Spreitzer and ACE Senior Vice President Terry Hartle discuss the myriad regulations waiting to be finalized at the Education Department and other federal agencies.
Letter to the Department of Education on Student Loan Repayment Transition
November 17, 2021
Letter to the Department of Education on Student Loan Repayment Transition
ACE and the other higher education associations write to Secretary Cardona urging ED to share the full details of what is planning to do to help students and colleges during the transition to resuming student loan repayments.
Comments on Expansion of COVID-19 Relief Fund Reporting
August 23, 2021
Comments on Expansion of COVID-19 Relief Fund Reporting
Comments to the Department of Education on the proposed expansion of reporting requirements for colleges and universities that received funding under the three COVID-19 emergency relief bills passed in 2020-21.
Letter to Department of Education on Resuming Student Loan Repayments
July 16, 2021
Letter to Department of Education on Resuming Student Loan Repayments
As the nation works towards economic recovery, we believe it is critical that the Education Department develops and shares a clear plan to transition federal student loan borrowers back into repayment as soon as possible.
ACE, Other Associations Offer Comments, Principles on ED Rulemaking for Title IV Programs
July 6, 2021
ACE, Other Associations Offer Comments, Principles on ED Rulemaking for Title IV Programs
ACE and 43 other associations submitted comments July 1 on an array of topics that the Department of Education has indicated could be subject to negotiated rulemaking under Title IV of the Higher Education Act.
Letter to the Department of Education on Title IV Negotiated Rulemaking
July 1, 2021
Letter to the Department of Education on Title IV Negotiated Rulemaking
Comments on the topics suggested by the Department of Education as part of the negotiated rulemaking process on programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act.
Education Department Negotiated Rulemaking: Letter on Financial Responsibility
June 29, 2021
Education Department Negotiated Rulemaking: Letter on Financial Responsibility
Letter from ACE, NAICU, NACUBO to the Education Department as it begins the process of negotiated rulemaking on Title IV programs addressing the need for change in the Financial Responsibility Standards.
Colleges and Universities Are Not Courts, Higher Education Groups Tell Education Department in Comments on Title IX
June 14, 2021
Colleges and Universities Are Not Courts, Higher Education Groups Tell Education Department in Comments on Title IX
ACE and 42 other organizations have submitted comments on the Education Department's Title IX regulations, expressing concerns with the highly prescriptive, court-like processes including the mandate for a live hearing with direct cross-examination.
Comments to the Education Department's Public Hearing on Title IX
June 10, 2021
Comments to the Education Department's Public Hearing on Title IX
Comments from ACE and 42 other associations to the Education Department's public hearing on the Title IX regulations put in place by the Trump administration. The comments address concerns with the highly prescriptive, court-like processes required und...
Letter to Senate Leadership in Support of the Nomination of James Kvaal
April 26, 2021
Letter to Senate Leadership in Support of the Nomination of James Kvaal
The undersigned higher education associations give their enthusiastic support for James Kvaal, who has been nominated to serve as under secretary in the U.S. Department of Education.
Summary: Provisions Impacting Higher Education in the American Jobs Act Proposal
March 31, 2021
Summary: Provisions Impacting Higher Education in the American Jobs Act Proposal
Overview of the higher education provision in the Biden administration's American Jobs Act, to potentially transformative investment of $2 trillion in U.S. infrastructure and American jobs.
Letter to HELP Committee Leadership in Support of the Nomination of James Kvaal
April 14, 2021
Letter to HELP Committee Leadership in Support of the Nomination of James Kvaal
Our endorsement of James Kvaal, who has been nominated to serve as Under Secretary in the U.S. Department of Education, reflects the profound respect our members have for his judgement, expertise, and professionalism, qualities he has consistently demo...
Department of Education's Response to Questions About HEERF Fund Distribution
March 4, 2021
Department of Education's Response to Questions About HEERF Fund Distribution
Response from the Department of Education to some of the questions ACE sent on Feb. 11 about the rules for spending the COVID-19 relief funds in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.
Request for Meeting on Section 117 Reporting Requirements
February 11, 2021
Request for Meeting on Section 117 Reporting Requirements
Letter to Acting Education Secretary Philip Rosenfelt requesting a meeting to clarify the obligations of colleges and universities under Section 117 of the Higher Education Act, which deals with foreign gift and contract reporting.
Questions to ED on Emergency Relief Funding Distribution
February 10, 2021
Questions to ED on Emergency Relief Funding Distribution
Letter to incoming Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona outlining questions campuses have about the rules for spending the most recent round of COVID-19 relief funds approved by Congress in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriatio...
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the Senate Confirmation Hearing of Secretary of Education-designate Miguel A. Cardona
February 3, 2021
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the Senate Confirmation Hearing of Secretary of Education-designate Miguel A. Cardona
ACE looks forward to working with Dr. Cardona and his team at the Department of Education on the many important issues facing students, families, and colleges and universities.
Letter to Acting Secretary of Education on Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds
January 28, 2021
Letter to Acting Secretary of Education on Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds
ACE and other higher ed associations ask for clarification that emergency relief funds in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 can be used to help all students, including undocumented and international students.
ED Announces Plans for Distributing Emergency Relief; Biden COVID-19 Relief Plan Would Give $35 Billion to Higher Education
January 19, 2021
ED Announces Plans for Distributing Emergency Relief; Biden COVID-19 Relief Plan Would Give $35 Billion to Higher Education
The Department of Education has announced its plan for distributing the largest pool of funding for students and higher education institutions in the COVID-19 relief bill passed in December.
New COVID-19 Relief Bill: An Estimate of What Individual Institutions May Receive
January 7, 2021
New COVID-19 Relief Bill: An Estimate of What Individual Institutions May Receive
ACE has conducted a simulation of how the Department of Education might allocate the main $20.2 billion pot of funding to about 3,500 public and private, nonprofit colleges and universities.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the Nomination of Dr. Miguel A. Cardona to be Secretary of Education
December 23, 2020
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the Nomination of Dr. Miguel A. Cardona to be Secretary of Education
We congratulate Dr. Miguel A. Cardona on his nomination to be secretary of education and applaud President-elect Biden’s choice for this vital role.
ACE Higher Education Groups Tell ED Latest Action on Foreign Gift and Contract Reporting Exceeds the Law
December 21, 2020
ACE Higher Education Groups Tell ED Latest Action on Foreign Gift and Contract Reporting Exceeds the Law
ACE and other higher education associations submitted comments last week strongly opposing the Department of Education’s (ED) Nov. 13 notice of interpretation (NOI) regarding the foreign gifts and contracts reporting provision in the Higher Education Act.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on FAFSA Simplification
December 21, 2020
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on FAFSA Simplification
We applaud the bipartisan agreement to simplify the process of applying for federal student aid, which will make it significantly easier for students and families to complete the FAFSA form and increase the number of individuals who receive aid.
Comments and Memo to the Education Department on the Enforcement of Section 117
December 14, 2020
Comments and Memo to the Education Department on the Enforcement of Section 117
Comments and legal memorandum to the Department of Education in response to the notification of interpretation and request for comments on the department's enforcement authority for failure to adequately report under Section 117.
ED Extends Student Loan Borrower Relief To Jan. 31; Associations Call on Congress to Address Issue Through End of 2021
December 7, 2020
ED Extends Student Loan Borrower Relief To Jan. 31; Associations Call on Congress to Address Issue Through End of 2021
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Friday that the pause on repaying student loans would be extended through Jan. 31, leaving the Biden administration to deal with further relief.
Letter to Congress on Borrower Relief Extensions
December 4, 2020
Letter to Congress on Borrower Relief Extensions
Letter to House and Senate leaders urging them to extend the current suspension of payment and zero percent interest for all federal student loan borrowers, as well as the suspension of collections on defaulted loans, as the pandemic continues.
Request to Extend Relief for Federal Student Loan Borrowers
November 20, 2020
Request to Extend Relief for Federal Student Loan Borrowers
Letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos asking for an extension of the current suspension of payment and zero percent interest for federal student loan borrowers and the suspension of collections on defaulted loans during the pandemic.
Executive Action Priorities for Higher Education Under the Biden Administration
November 19, 2020
Executive Action Priorities for Higher Education Under the Biden Administration
Letter to the Biden-Harris transition team on the Trump administration's executive actions of concern to students, educators, and institutions that could be reversed by the Biden administration.
Rescission of 2016 Clery Handbook: What Does It Mean for Colleges and Universities?
Rescission of 2016 Clery Handbook: What Does It Mean for Colleges and Universities?
The Department of Education is rescinding the 2016 Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting and publishing a new Clery-related Appendix in the FSA Handbook. This Issue Brief explains the changes and answers key questions.
ACE, Higher Education Groups Support Princeton in Federal Inquiry After University Acknowledges Systemic Racism
September 30, 2020
ACE, Higher Education Groups Support Princeton in Federal Inquiry After University Acknowledges Systemic Racism
ACE and 55 other higher education associations have written to Secretary Betsy DeVos to protest the Education Department's investigation of Princeton University for recognizing that racism remains a significant problem in U.S. higher education.
Letter in Support of Princeton in Department of Education's Anti-discrimination Investigation
September 30, 2020
Letter in Support of Princeton in Department of Education's Anti-discrimination Investigation
ACE and 53 other higher education associations sent this letter to Secretary Betsy DeVos to protest the Department of Education’s investigation of Princeton University for recognizing that racism remains a significant problem in U.S. higher education.
Education Department Finalizes New Rule on Campus Free Speech
September 14, 2020
Education Department Finalizes New Rule on Campus Free Speech
The Department of Education has released its final rule implementing President Trump’s executive order linking federal research and education grants to campus free speech for public institutions.
Deadline Approaching for Institutions to Apply for CARES Act Grant Program Funds
August 24, 2020
Deadline Approaching for Institutions to Apply for CARES Act Grant Program Funds
Colleges and universities have until Oct. 20 to apply for funding from the CARES Act-funded Institutional Resilience and Expanded Postsecondary Opportunity program.
Request for Delay in Implementing the Final Title IX Rule
June 10, 2020
Request for Delay in Implementing the Final Title IX Rule
Letter from 15 higher education association presidents to Education Secretary Betsy Devos requesting a delay in implementing the final Title IX rule, which is scheduled to go into effect Aug. 14.
Education Department Emergency Aid Coming to Students Next Week, Institutional Assistance Coming Soon
April 10, 2020
Education Department Emergency Aid Coming to Students Next Week, Institutional Assistance Coming Soon
The Department of Education (ED) announced the first phase of distributing the roughly $14 billion for higher education institutions and students included in the CARES Act, the stimulus bill signed into law March 27.
ACE, Other Associations Ask for Swift Distribution of Higher Education Stimulus Funds
April 2, 2020
ACE, Other Associations Ask for Swift Distribution of Higher Education Stimulus Funds
ED should move quickly to distribute the money to higher education institutions and students contained in the $2 trillion CARES Act, urge ACE and 40 other associations.
Letter to Secretary DeVos on Distributing Funds in the CARES Act
April 2, 2020
Letter to Secretary DeVos on Distributing Funds in the CARES Act
Letter to Secretary Betsy DeVos on the need to distribute the higher education emergency relief funds included in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act as soon as possible.
CARES Act Higher Education Relief Fund Simulation
CARES Act Higher Education Relief Fund Simulation
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides almost $14 billion that will go directly to higher education institutions. This database is a simulation of how the Education Department might distribute these funds.
Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Allocates $14 Billion to Higher Education
March 30, 2020
Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Allocates $14 Billion to Higher Education
ACE President Ted Mitchell called the higher education provisions in the plan, which total approximately $14 billion, “woefully inadequate.”
Summary of the Higher Education Provisions in the CARES Act
March 26, 2020
Summary of the Higher Education Provisions in the CARES Act
Summary of the higher education provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which provides over $2 trillion in emergency relief to address the economic downturn resulting from the pandemic.
Letter Requesting a Delay on Title IX and Section 117 Rules
March 24, 2020
Letter Requesting a Delay on Title IX and Section 117 Rules
Letter to Secretary Betsy DeVos requesting the department delay further action on the final Title IX rule and Section 117 foreign gifts and contracts information collection request until after the COVID-19 crisis has passed.
Letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Waiving Financial Responsibility Standards
March 23, 2020
Letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Waiving Financial Responsibility Standards
Letter to Secretary Betsy DeVos requesting the Department of Education use its authority under Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act to temporarily waive financial responsibility standards.
Letter to Congress in Support of Research During COVID-19 Pandemic
March 20, 2020
Letter to Congress in Support of Research During COVID-19 Pandemic
Letter from ACE, AAU, APLU, and AAMC outlining a four-point strategy to help U.S. universities continue leading in the battle against COVID-19 and ensure that research in other areas can continue.
Memo to Congress: Supporting Higher Education During the Pandemic
March 19, 2020
Memo to Congress: Supporting Higher Education During the Pandemic
Recommendations from the higher education community for what to include in the coronavirus emergency stimulus bill Congress is drafting to support college students and institutions.
Letter Urging Student Loan Repayment Relief During COVID-19 Crisis
March 20, 2020
Letter Urging Student Loan Repayment Relief During COVID-19 Crisis
Letter to Congress from ACE, the NASFAA, and TICAS urging Congress to provide immediate repayment relief to federal student loan borrowers amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Senate Blocks Education Department's Borrower Defense Rule
March 13, 2020
Senate Blocks Education Department's Borrower Defense Rule
Both houses of Congress are formally opposing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s borrower defense rule finalized last September, with both the House and Senate passing resolutions expressing disapproval of the rule.
ACE, Higher Education Groups Comment on New Foreign Gift and Reporting Information Request
March 13, 2020
ACE, Higher Education Groups Comment on New Foreign Gift and Reporting Information Request
The Department of Education should make changes to the latest version of its proposed expansion of foreign gift and contract reporting requirements, ACE said in comments submitted March 11.
Comments on the Education Department's Revised Section 117 Information Collection Request
March 11, 2020
Comments on the Education Department's Revised Section 117 Information Collection Request
Comments to the Department of Education from ACE and 36 other higher education associations on the proposed information collection request for foreign gift and contracts disclosure under Section 117 of the Higher Education Act.
Education Department Issues Coronavirus Guidelines as Campuses Continue to Prepare and Respond
March 9, 2020
Education Department Issues Coronavirus Guidelines as Campuses Continue to Prepare and Respond
The Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid has released guidance to help colleges and universities comply with student financial aid policies for students whose activities are impacted by the new coronavirus.
Education Department Rule Implementing Trump’s Campus Free Speech Order Is "Breathtaking in Its Reach"
February 20, 2020
Education Department Rule Implementing Trump’s Campus Free Speech Order Is "Breathtaking in Its Reach"
President Trump signed an executive order last March that linked federal research and education grants to campus free speech. Read ACE's comments on the Education Department's proposed rule implementing the order.
Comments to the Education Department on Free Speech NPRM
February 18, 2020
Comments to the Education Department on Free Speech NPRM
Comments to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on the notice of proposed rulemaking to implement President Trump’s March 2019 executive order on free speech.
Education Department Withdraws Emergency HEA Section 117 Information Collection Request
February 11, 2020
Education Department Withdraws Emergency HEA Section 117 Information Collection Request
In its place, ED the department resubmitted a proposal for an expanded information collection request with just one change: It removes the request for unredacted “true copies” of contracts and gift agreements from covered institutions.
Missed Our Recent Webinar on HEA Reauthorization? No Problem, See It On ACE Engage.
January 13, 2020
Missed Our Recent Webinar on HEA Reauthorization? No Problem, See It On ACE Engage.
The December webinar, “Whither Higher Education Act Reauthorization?” is now archived exclusively on ACE Engage®, ACE’s online community and learning platform.
House Votes to Block Education Department Rule on Borrower Defense
January 17, 2020
House Votes to Block Education Department Rule on Borrower Defense
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.
Bill to Improve Accessibility of College Materials Reintroduced in Senate
January 17, 2020
Bill to Improve Accessibility of College Materials Reintroduced in Senate
Legislation to create a commission to draft voluntary guidelines for accessible college instructional materials, which ACE has long supported, has been reintroduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Letter in Support of the AIM HIGH Act
January 16, 2020
Letter in Support of the AIM HIGH Act
Letter to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in support of the Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education (AIM-HIGH) Act, which would create a commission to draft voluntary guidelines for accessible college instructional materials.
Comments and Memo on Section 117 Information Collection
December 19, 2019
Comments and Memo on Section 117 Information Collection
Comments from ACE and 14 higher education associations and explanatory memo on the Department of Education's revised proposed information collection request tied to Section 117.
Letter to Department of Education on Section 117 Information Collection Request
December 18, 2019
Letter to Department of Education on Section 117 Information Collection Request
Letter from ACE and 10 higher education associations in opposition to the Department of Education's request for emergency processing of an information collection request tied to Section 117.
Letter to the House in Support of the FUTURE Act
December 10, 2019
Letter to the House in Support of the FUTURE Act
Letter to House leaders in support of the Senate verison of the FUTURE Act, which adds FAFSA simplification and other provisions to the restoration of the funding stream for minority serving institutions.
Senate Approves Compromise Measure to Extend MSI Funding, Simplify FAFSA
December 9, 2019
Senate Approves Compromise Measure to Extend MSI Funding, Simplify FAFSA
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).
Comments and Memo on ED's Section 117 Information Collection Request
November 5, 2019
Comments and Memo on ED's Section 117 Information Collection Request
Comments to the Education Department on the proposed Information Collection Request on Sec. 117 of the Higher Education Act, “Disclosures of Foreign Gifts.”
Education Department Releases Final Rules on Accreditation, State Authorization
November 4, 2019
Education Department Releases Final Rules on Accreditation, State Authorization
The Education Department has published its final regulations on accreditation and state authorization distance education, the result of a negotiated rulemaking session earlier this year.
Summary of the College Affordability Act
October 30, 2019
Summary of the College Affordability Act
A summary of the College Affordability Act, the House bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.
Letter to the House on the College Affordability Act
October 28, 2019
Letter to the House on the College Affordability Act
Letter to the House Committee on Education and Labor on the College Affordability Act, a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.
House Committee Approves HEA Legislation; Future of Bill Is Uncertain
November 4, 2019
House Committee Approves HEA Legislation; Future of Bill Is Uncertain
The House Education and Labor Committee voted to pass a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, the primary law that governs the relationship between the federal government, colleges and universities, and students.
Education Department Releases Final Rules on Accreditation, State Authorization
November 4, 2019
Education Department Releases Final Rules on Accreditation, State Authorization
The Education Department has published its final regulations on accreditation and state authorization distance education, the result of a negotiated rulemaking session earlier this year.
ACE, Other Associations Respond to House HEA Reauthorization Bill
October 28, 2019
ACE, Other Associations Respond to House HEA Reauthorization Bill
ACE and 32 other higher education associations today sent a letter to the leaders of the House Education and Labor Committee outlining areas of support and concern with the College Affordability Act.
Overview of Section 117 Foreign Gift and Contract Reporting
October 23, 2019
Overview of Section 117 Foreign Gift and Contract Reporting
Talking points on foreign gift and contract reporting requirements under Section 117 of the Higher Education Act.
ED Announces Plans to Expand Collection of Information on Foreign Gifts and Contracts
September 13, 2019
ED Announces Plans to Expand Collection of Information on Foreign Gifts and Contracts
As Congress and federal security agencies raise concerns about foreign influence at colleges and universities, campuses have had an increasing number of questions about the foreign gift and contract reporting requirements.
Summary of the Student Aid Improvement Act of 2019
October 16, 2019
Summary of the Student Aid Improvement Act of 2019
The Student Aid Improvement Act was introduced in the Senate by Lamar Alexander, chair of the HELP Committee, to address some of the issues involved in reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
House Democrats Begin the HEA Reauthorization Process (Again)
October 16, 2019
House Democrats Begin the HEA Reauthorization Process (Again)
House Democrats have introduced the latest legislative proposal to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, the law that governs federal financial aid and other higher education programs, as well as relevant rules and regulations.
ED Announces Plans to Expand Collection of Information on Foreign Gifts and Contracts
September 13, 2019
ED Announces Plans to Expand Collection of Information on Foreign Gifts and Contracts
As Congress and federal security agencies raise concerns about foreign influence at colleges and universities, campuses have had an increasing number of questions about the foreign gift and contract reporting requirements.
Education Department Releases Final Borrower Defense Rules
September 6, 2019
Education Department Releases Final Borrower Defense Rules
The Department of Education has released its final regulation on borrower defense to repayment, which cancels Direct Loans for students whose institutions misled them.
Trump Administration Announces Easier Path to Student Loan Forgiveness for Disabled Veterans
August 22, 2019
Trump Administration Announces Easier Path to Student Loan Forgiveness for Disabled Veterans
ACE President Ted Mitchell applauded the announcement and urged the administration to address other loan cancellation problems.
Letter to the Department of Education on Impact of State Authorization Rule Change on California Students
July 25, 2019
Letter to the Department of Education on Impact of State Authorization Rule Change on California Students
​ACE sent this letter to Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos regarding a rule change that threatens to leave an estimated 80,000 California students without financial aid.
ACE, Higher Education Groups Ask Lawmakers to Prioritize Graduate Education
July 18, 2019
ACE, Higher Education Groups Ask Lawmakers to Prioritize Graduate Education
ACE joined a coalition of more than 30 higher education groups in a letter to congressional leaders June 15, urging them to make graduate students a priority in the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
Letter to Education Department on Foreign Gift Reporting Requirements
July 12, 2019
Letter to Education Department on Foreign Gift Reporting Requirements
Letter to Mitchell M. Zais regarding the agency's reply​ to requests for clarification on Section 117 of the Higher Education Act.
ACE, Associations Reiterate Request for Clarification of Foreign Gift Reporting Requirements
July 15, 2019
ACE, Associations Reiterate Request for Clarification of Foreign Gift Reporting Requirements
ACE and other higher education associations have for the third time in seven months sent a letter asking the Department of Education to clarify the reporting requirements for foreign gifts.
Department of Education Repeals Gainful Employment Regulations
July 1, 2019
Department of Education Repeals Gainful Employment Regulations
​​The Education Department has rescinded the Obama-era gainful employment regulations, which penalized some programs that graduated students with too much debt. ACE and other groups advocated against repeal.
Statement of ACE Senior Vice President Terry W. Hartle on Repeal of Gainful Employment Regulations
June 28, 2019
Statement of ACE Senior Vice President Terry W. Hartle on Repeal of Gainful Employment Regulations
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on June 28 issued the final repeal of regulations crafted by the Obama administration to hold low-quality career education programs accountable.
Letter to Education Department on Foreign Gift Reporting Requirements
June 21, 2019
Letter to Education Department on Foreign Gift Reporting Requirements
Letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos seeking clarification of Section 117 of the Higher Education Act.​​​​
Congressional Hearings Look at Accountability, Priorities for Higher Ed
April 11, 2019
Congressional Hearings Look at Accountability, Priorities for Higher Ed
The Senate HELP Committee held the latest in a series of panels on issues that will be addressed in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, while Education Secretary DeVos visited the House Committee on Education and Labor to discuss priorities.
Testimony to Senate HELP Committee on Addressing Campus Sexual Assault
Testimony to Senate HELP Committee on Addressing Campus Sexual Assault
Anne Meehan, director of Government Relations at ACE, delivered testimony April 2 to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee at a hearing on “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Addressing Campus Sexual Assault and Ensuring Stude...

Extending Enrollment and Financial Aid Deadlines

See which institutions have responded to FAFSA delays by extending the traditional May 1 deadline for admitted students to enroll. 

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