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Updated 2/10/2020 

The Department of Education has rescinded its proposed changes to foreign gift reporting under Section 117 of the Higher Education Act, following several delays in approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and strong opposition from the higher education community.

Under Section 117, colleges and universities are required to report gifts from foreign sources or contracts with foreign entities if they are above a threshold of $250,000 and arise from the same foreign source over the course of a year. ED’s proposed rule appeared to eliminate this threshold and expand reporting requirements.

Reports indicate that OMB had concerns with the proposal, and that ED and OMB mutually decided that the best course of action was to withdraw the proposal. OMB identified one provision of the first proposal as particularly concerning: the requirement that institutions must provide ED with “true copies” of contracts from foreign entities.

On Feb. 10, ED released an updated notice concerning foreign gift reporting under Sec. 117. Among other changes, ED removed the requirement that colleges and universities provide ED with “true copies” of gifts and contracts. The notice is open for public comment through March 11, 2020, a requirement NACUBO and other higher education associations had advocated for.


Megan Schneider

Senior Director, Government Affairs


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