MSCHE Provides Written Comments on USDE Intent to Establish Negotiated Rulemaking Committees

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) submitted written comments to the notice from the United States Department of Education (USDE) to establish negotiated rulemaking committees to prepare proposed regulations for programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA).

In the letter, MSCHE President Dr. Heather F. Perfetti highlighted several proposed regulatory topics that should be addressed, including

  • Change of ownership and change in control of institutions of higher education under 34 CFR 600.31;
  • Certification procedures for participation in title IV, HEA programs under 34 CFR 668.13;
  • Financial responsibility for participating institutions of higher education under 34 CFR subpart L, such as events that indicate heightened financial risk; gainful employment (formerly located in 34 CFR subpart Q); and
  • Pell Grant eligibility for prison education programs under 34 CFR part 690.

“As a member of the regulatory triad, the Commission supports the Department’s efforts to further strengthen institutional accountability and consumer protection and appreciates this opportunity to provide comment in advance of the negotiated rulemaking process,” Dr. Perfetti wrote. “Any reconsideration of program integrity rules, including those for institutional accountability and consumer protection, should include careful attention to how the regulations will be enforced. The Commission is best able to ensure that institutions meet regulatory requirements when those offer clarity for implementation and enforcement.”

In addition, Dr. Perfetti asked that the composition of the negotiated rulemaking committees involve institutional accreditors, representatives of state agencies, as well as the types of institutions who may be impacted by any changes.

“The composition of the negotiated rulemaking committees will be critical to achieving successful negotiations and establishing regulations that support the goals and needs of constituencies participating in and benefitting from higher education as well as those that have oversight and enforcement responsibilities,” wrote Dr. Perfetti.

Read the entire letter here.