NACUBO's Comments Focus on Scope of Proposed Topics for Negotiated Rulemaking
June 13, 2013
On June 4, NACUBO submitted written testimony to the Department of Education outlining several areas of concern regarding topics the agency is considering for negotiated rulemaking later this year. NACUBO is worried that ED is considering too many topics for one rulemaking team to take on and recommended that ED form more than one committee. Perhaps in response to similar misgivings, ED announced on June 12 that it is forming a negotiated rulemaking committee to focus specifically on the controversial topic of gainful employment.
Testimony Highlights Cash Management Rules
The majority of NACUBO's comments focus on ED's suggestion that it might revise its cash management regulations. NACUBO defended the current 14-day allowance for institutions to pay Title IV credit balance refunds to students. While many institutions pay credit balance refunds to students in less than 14 days, NACUBO shared several examples of why the time is necessary, including class attendance confirmation and direct deposit signup.
Citing data from the 2012 Student Financial Services Benchmarking survey, NACUBO explained that more institutions are moving towards paying credit balance refunds electronically and asked ED to provide institutions flexibility in deciding to do so. A copy of "Safeguarding Student Finances," a set of voluntary standards for campus debit cards, was provided to ED along with the testimony.
NACUBO's testimony also addressed student authorizations for paying prior-year charges over $200, stewardship of federal funds (including the nightly sweeping of accounts), state authorization for distance learning, and recommends forming a separate negotiated rulemaking team to focus on Return of Title IV Funds regulations.
ED Requests Nominations for Gainful Employment Negotiators
In the June 12 Federal Register , ED announced its intention to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to prepare regulations that would establish standards for programs that prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation. Originally part of ED's 2011 program integrity rulemaking, the majority of the gainful employment regulations were struck down in 2012 when the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that ED had acted arbitrarily when it established a minimum acceptable repayment rate for Title IV loans. ED now seeks to revisit these regulations through the negotiated rulemaking process.
Two sessions have been schedule for negotiations: September 9-11 and October 21-23, both in Washington, DC. Nominations for negotiators are due to ED by July 12.
Senior Policy Analyst
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