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Department of Education Regulations

Compliance with federal rules and regulations impacts administrative offices across college and university campuses.

Overview 

Compliance with federal rules and regulations impacts administrative offices across college and university campuses. NACUBO is highlighting five federal Department of Education compliance areas college and university business officers should pay particular attention to. Compliance with these rules and regulations is required for eligibility for and participation in Title IV federal student aid programs and requires collaboration with officials across the institution. NACUBO encourages chief business officers (CBOs) to collaborate with general counsel, campus risk managers, and those with IPEDS, EZ Audit, and other reporting responsibilities to ensure proper compliance, in addition to working with the administrators who have the most expertise in a particular compliance area.


Compliance Areas

College and university business officers should pay particular attention to these five compliance areas.

Financial Responsibility Standards

The Department of Education's financial responsibility standards are intended to ensure that institutions participating in federal financial assistance programs are able to meet their financial obligations and comply with ED rules. CFOs working on issues related to financial responsibility should collaborate with controllers. To learn more about the topics and related resources featured below, visit NACUBO's Financial Responsibility Standards page.

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Borrower Defense

Rules for relieving student borrowers of federal debt. These regulations also include financial responsibility adjustments and define new triggering events.

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Financial Responsibility Resources

Resources and reports explaining composite score calculations for non-profit schools and the three financial ratios that comprise them. 

Privacy and Data Security

Higher education institutions are regulated under a number of different privacy and data security regulations. CFOs working on issues related to privacy and data security should collaborate with their school’s information security officers. While not a current requirement, the Department of Education is expected to soon add a GLBA compliance check to the audit requirements for the student financial cluster under the Single Audit Act. Find out more about your institution's privacy and data security obligations, including those related to the regulations listed below, by visiting NACUBO's Privacy & Data Security page.

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EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Effective May 25, 2018, the EU's General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) apply even to entities with no physical EU presence as long as they control or process covered personal information for EU residence.

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General Data Security

Covers general data security regulations or guidance that do not fit neatly under the umbrella of GLBA or GDPR.

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Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)

To protect student information, colleges and universities are required to comply with the Safeguards Rule of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA).

Program Integrity

NACUBO is committed to preserving the public’s confidence in federal student aid programs and protecting students from fraud and abuse without placing an undue regulatory burden on institutions that offer a legitimate, quality education. CFOs working on issues related to program integrity should collaborate with presidents and provosts. Find out more about the topics below by visiting NACUBO's Program Integrity page.

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Borrower Defense

Rules for relieving student borrowers of federal debt. These regulations also include financial responsibility adjustments and define new triggering events.

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Gainful Employment

Rules that disqualify programs from receiving Title IV aid if their graduates consistently have high levels of student debt relative to their incomes.

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General Program Integrity

Broad rulemaking efforts that do not fall neatly under the umbrella of borrower defense, gainful employment, or state authorization.

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State Authorization

Addresses the requirement that an institution have state authorization before it can offer study abroad or provide distance education to students residing in other states.

Student Financial Services (SFS)

Student Financial Services (SFS) describes how colleges and universities provide students and families with finance-related services, such as applying for financial aid and paying a tuition bill, along with the associated business processes necessary to pay for college. SFS professionals manage the policies and procedures related to a student's account, which tracks tuition and other charges, payments, and application of financial aid. CFOs working on SFS-related issues should collaborate with bursars and financial aid officers. Learn more about the topics below on NACUBO's SFS Regulations page.

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Cash Management

Rules and procedures that a school must follow in requesting, maintaining, disbursing, and otherwise managing Title IV funds.

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Other Federal Aid

Other federal aid programs including Pell Grants, PLUS loans, and TEACH grants.

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Perkins Loan

History and close-out guidance for the Perkins Loan Program, which expired on June 30, 2018.

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R2T4 & Unearned Aid

How return of Title IV funds (R2T4) can impact your institution.

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Veterans & Service Members

Tuition assistance programs offered to active military members, veterans, and their families by the VA and DoD.

Title IX and Campus Safety & Security

Every school that receives federal dollars must adhere to federal regulations related to campus safety and gender discrimination. CFOs working on issues related to Title IX and campus safety should collaborate with campus security and student affairs professionals. To find out more about NACUBO's work on the Clery Act and Title IX, visit NACUBO's Title IX and Campus Safety & Security page.

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The Clery Act

A federal law that requires all colleges and universities receiving federal funding to share information about campus crime statistics and school efforts to improve campus safety.

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Title IX

comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.


Related NACUBO Resources

Find advisory reports, infographics, news archives and other resources related to Department of Education regulations.

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