Unity on State Regulation Erodes

As the Education Department developed, published and defended a new requirement that distance education providers gain approval from any state in which they seek to enroll students with federal financial aid, the rule has earned almost universal scorn, at almost every stage of the process, from across the spectrum of higher education. Until now.

On Tuesday, the American Council on Education took the relatively unusual step of asking Congress to rescind the "state authorization" rule and another regulation, also due to take effect July 1, that would create a federal definition of a "credit hour." And while nearly 70 college groups and accrediting agencies signed the letter, three of the "big six" associations of college presidents — those that represent two-year and four-year public institutions — did not sign the letter, even though they had signed earlier letters asking the department itself to rescind the rules and asking Congress to delay their implementation. (The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators also signed the earlier letters but did not sign Tuesday’s.)

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