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ED's New Financial Responsibility Rules Deserve Attention

Aaron Lacey June 17, 2024

The U.S. Department of Education's new financial responsibility rules take effect July 1, 2024. These rules are part of a sweeping set of regulations that become effective the same day and cover financial value transparency and gainful employment, professional licensure programs, the bare minimum rule, transcript withholding, and diploma verification, among many other topics.

With so much on the agenda, the new financial responsibility rules have garnered relatively little discussion. They deserve attention. In particular, the new rules revise and expand the reporting obligations at 34 CFR § 668.171, which require institutions to report certain “triggering events” to the Department. These reporting requirements are meant to alert the agency that an institution “may not be able to meet its financial responsibilities.” If an institution fails to report a triggering event within the requisite timeframe, the Department may take administrative action, up to terminating the institution from the federal financial aid programs. And if an institution reports a triggering event (or the Department otherwise becomes aware that an event has occurred), the Department may determine that the institution is not financially responsible, depending on the nature and significance of the event reported.

In this 20-minute video, Aaron Lacey discusses the new financial responsibility rules, with an emphasis on the revised and expanded financial responsibility reporting requirements. He also introduces Thompson Coburn's new Financial Responsibility Reporting Guide, which is free and available on the firm's higher education resources page. 

Click below to access this video update, the latest in our HigherEdReg Rundown series. Click here to view the slides.