U.S. Department of Education Issues State Authorization Rule

A new federal rule could change the way The Ohio State University and thousands of other universities deliver instruction across the United States.

The U.S. Department of Education released its final distance education rule in December. The rule requires an institution to be authorized by each state in which it enrolls students. After obtaining state authorization, schools are able to disburse Title IV aid to students in that state. It takes effect July 1, 2018. It also requires institutions to document the process for resolving student complaints, and to provide a variety of public and individualized disclosures to both enrolled and prospective students.

What’s Next?

A lot can happen before the rule’s July 2018 effective date. Many stakeholders believe the rule will never go into effect. President-elect Donald Trump has publicly indicated that he would undo many existing regulations, and he will likely have support from the Republican-controlled Congress. The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to overturn rules that were recently enacted by the previous administration.

Cooley, LLP pointed out that Congress also could make changes to the rule as part of the Higher Education Act reauthorization, or a new Secretary of Education could start the process to amend or eliminate the rule altogether.

As we wait to see whether the rule will take effect, the university will continue to comply with SARA guidelines and with other states’ statutes and regulations in order to legally provide out-of-state educational activities to all Ohio State students. Make sure you stay up-to-date with state authorization at Ohio State – sign up for our monthly newsletter