Preparing students for the workforce is a key part of the value of higher education and a major reason the public supports continued government investment in federal student aid. Increasingly, however, bad actors have found ways to game the system, accessing billions of dollars of federal aid for poor quality or fraudulent programs that leave students saddled with debt they can never repay. In addition to harming students, these bad actors erode public trust in the value of higher education as a whole.
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. NACUBO's expertise and advocacy efforts have focused on ED regulations related to program integrity, particularly borrower defense, gainful employment, and state authorization.
Borrower defense rules relieve student borrowers of their federal debt if their schools have closed or misled them. Notably, the rules also include financial responsibility adjustments in response to several newly defined triggering events that might call an institution’s financial responsibility into question. After a court battle, the Obama-era borrower defense regulations went into effect on October 17, 2018. To learn more about borrower defense rules, visit NACUBO's Borrower Defense page.
Gainful employment rules disqualify programs from receiving Title IV aid if their graduates consistently have high levels of student debt relative to their incomes.
- Overview of ED's proposal to scrap gainful employment (September 14, 2018)
- ACE's comment letter on gainful employment, endorsed by NACUBO (September 13, 2018)
- Trump administration's proposed gainful employment rules in the Federal Register (August 14, 2018)
- Summary of ED's plan to scale back accountability in GE rules (November 3, 2014)
- Analysis of tightened new gainful employment rules (April 4, 2014)
- ED's final gainful employment rules in the Federal Register (October 31, 2014)
This addresses the requirement that an institution have state authorization before it can offer study abroad programs or provide distance education to students residing in other states.
- Summary of key issues included in the June 2019 NPRM on accreditation and state authorization (June 24, 2019)
- Final update on ED's negotiated rulemaking effort on accreditation and innovation (April 12, 2019)
- Overview of ED's decision to delay effective date of state authorization rule (May 25, 2017)
- Synopsis of the final state authorization rules (January 5, 2017)
- NC-SARA's response to final state authorization rules (December 20, 2016)
- ED's final provision for state authorization for distance learning (December 19, 2016)
- Summary of ED's proposed new rules for distance education and foreign locations (July 26, 2016)
- State authorization NPRM in the Federal Register (July 25, 2016)
General Program Integrity
These broad rulemaking efforts fall outside of borrower defense, gainful employment, or state authorization.
- Quality Control: an overview of ED's negotiated rulemaking on innovation and accreditation (Business Officer Magazine, July/August 2019)
- ED Announces Broad Rulemaking Effort (August 9, 2018)
- Federal Register call for negotiated rulemaking committee on program integrity (July 31, 2018)
- Program Integrity Rulemaking Delayed (September 8, 2014)