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SA Weekly: November 4

Civic Engagement Financial Wellness Policy and Advocacy Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Student-Athlete
November 4, 2019 Maya Ward-Fineman NASPA

Welcome to SA Weekly, your destination for higher ed news, NASPA research and policy, constituent blogs, and more. 

New Rules on Accreditation and State Authorization “Trump administration calls its final rules on accreditation and state approval of online providers a rightsizing of bureaucracy that protects students. Consumer advocates and Democrats see an unraveling of federal oversight.”

23 Senators Demand Investigation Into Mismanagement Of Student Loan Program “The senators are calling on the nation's top consumer protection agency to investigate a loan servicer for the troubled student loan forgiveness program for public service workers.” 

As Fires Rage, More Campuses Close Across California, institutions are grappling with how best to provide for students and employees while combating power outages and poor air quality. For many, this is the new normal.

NCAA Votes for Athlete Payment “The National Collegiate Athletic Association's governing board votes to allow college athletes to be compensated in third-party sponsorship deals.” 

Forced Removal of Student Prompts Protest “American University students are angry about what they saw as racist treatment of a black student forcibly removed from her university-owned apartment by police. University officials say the students jumped to conclusions but offer little explanation of what happened, or why.”


Policy Update

Today’s Students Coalition Letter to Congressional Leaders on HEA Reauthorization by Today’s Students Coalition

Fall 2019 Proposals to Reauthorize the Higher Education Act by Teri Lyn Hinds, Director of Policy Research and Advocacy


Relevant Bills & Updates

Rep. Bobby Scott Calls DeVos to Testify

Rep. Bobby Scott, Chairman House Ed and Labor, October 28, 2019

Chairman of House Education and Labor, Bobby Scott has extended a formal request to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to testify on her lack of movement to implement loan discharges to student borrowers having attended defunct predatory for-profit colleges. This request comes following a federal court ruling, finding Secretary in contempt for violating the Borrower Defense to Repayment Rule.


College Affordability Act: Mark-up and Passage Through Ed and Labor

House Education and Labor, October 29-October 31, 2019

Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization has been a focal point for higher education policy in October, with House democrats introducing the College Affordability Act (CAA) and moving quickly into mark-up, passing Rep. Susan Davis’s (D-CA) amendment in the nature of a substitute, that took the place of the original bill, through the House Education and Labor Committee on October 31. Multiple amendments were considered that would have made CAA more restrictive, but all were rejected. Since the legislation has passed out of committee, it will next head to the House floor for a vote. 


Relevant Regulations

Secretary’s Recognition Procedures for State Agencies

  •        Rule by the Education Department on November 1, 2019
  •        To go in effect, July 1, 2020
  •        Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education 

In December 2018 Secretary DeVos laid out Department of Education priorities for the upcoming rulemaking session, stating it was time to “rethink” higher education and on accreditation. The proposed rule was the first to be issued as a result of negotiated rulemaking sessions that took place between January and April 2019 to address various regulatory changes for postsecondary education, including changes regarding accreditation, credit and clock hours, the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship, TEACH Grants, religious freedom, distance education programs, state authorization for distance education, and competency-based education. At a final meeting on April 3, 2019, the negotiated rulemaking committee reached consensus on the regulatory language for all of the topics that were discussed. The Department issued the proposed rule in June 2019 with a 30-day comment period. 

The final rule was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in mid-October, and released to the Federal Register on November 1. The final rule is similar to that of the proposed rule, with some small elements removed. Inside Higher Ed issued an article on the release of the rule on November 1 as well.  

Want to submit comments of your own? Check out NASPA’s Q&A on submitting public comments


Around NASPA

Scholar's Corner: Becoming a Latina-Mami-Scholar on My Timeline by Kelly Alvarado-Young, Latinx/a/o Knowledge Community