Are you in the loop with 5 big regulatory changes?

"Colleges and universities face an unusually busy summer, as several new federal regulations will go into effect," ACE writes.

Chances are that your university’s system is undergoing major changes this summer to adhere to the swath of new compliance measures required by the Department of Education and other federal agencies. This Monday, three regulations will take effect, raising some employee wages and expanding the government’s ability to oversee financial aid disbursement and underperforming academic programs.

Luckily, the American Council on Education has released a quick breakdown to keep colleges and universities up to speed.

“Colleges and universities face an unusually busy summer, as several new federal regulations will go into effect,” ACE writes. “The regulations touch on many aspects of campus operations and, in some cases, are complex overhauls of existing systems.”

1. Overtime increase

More college and university employees will be eligible for overtime benefits following a new U.S. Department of Labor rule. Most employees making less than $58,656 on Jan. 1, 2025, will be classified as “hourly” and eligible to receive overtime pay.

The rule is facing pushback in Texas but it’s unclear whether any legal challenges will emerge.

Deadline: July 1

2. Keeping colleges in check to receive Title IV funding

The Department of Education released new or modified Title IV requirements representing the Biden administration’s efforts to ensure institutions are fiscally responsible and benefit the students they serve.

This regulatory package covers four key areas:

  • Financial responsibility: It specifies additional events that are deemed to constitute a failure to meet institutional financial and administrative obligations, including failure to pay Title IV credit balances, failure to make debt payments for more than 90 days, failure to make payroll obligations or borrowing from employee retirement plans without authorization. Additionally, the Department has enshrined new or modified mandatory triggers institutions must communicate to post financial protection in the case of financial exigency. For example, an institution must make a formal declaration of financial exigency and submit a teach-out plan to a federal, state, tribal or foreign governmental agency or its accrediting agency.
  • Administrative capability: Requires institutions to provide adequate financial aid counseling and communication to enrolled students, including more information about the cost of attendance, net price and advising students and families to accept the most beneficial types of financial assistance available. Institutions must also provide adequate career services to students receiving federal aid.
  • Certification procedures: Colleges must ensure that their programs preparing students for licensed occupations meet the educational requirements for professional licensure or certification in every state where the students are located or plan to work after completing the program.
  • Ability to benefit: Institutions that serve students who do not have a high school diploma and are enrolled in a career pathway program must have a process in place to provide them with Title IV funding.

Deadline: July 1.

3. Financial value transparency, gainful employment

The Department of Education has expanded its gainful employment rule to programs with two- or four-year cohorts of at least 30 students who are receiving federal aid.

A program will have fallen short if the department finds its graduates spending a higher percentage of their incomes repaying debt for two consecutive years or for two years in a three-year period, ACE wrote in its summary on the ruling.

Deadline: July 1.

More from UB: Best Value Colleges—Did your school make the 2024 rankings?

4. Net neutrality

Universities must recognize high-speed internet as a utility much like water or electricity, and—following guidelines from the FCC—must adhere to strong net neutrality protections.

Deadline: July 22.

5. Title IX

Biden’s Title IX overhaul codifies specific rights and designations for LGBTQIA+ and pregnant persons and broadens the set of circumstances that constitute sexual harassment. However, seven lawsuits encompassing 26 states are attempting to block the extended protections for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Deadline: Aug. 1.

Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel is a UB staff writer and first-generation journalism graduate from the University of Florida. He has triple citizenship from the U.S., Ecuador and Brazil.

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