Bright Insights

As CLV is a business that serves higher education, it is invaluable to understand and anticipate changes to the federal regulations that impact the operations and finances of institutions of higher education.  Federal regulations impose administrative requirements, and can impact enrollment and funding, which in turn, can impact village occupancy and CLV operations.  In recent years, government and higher education officials have been critical of the reach and growth of government regulation affecting higher education and the associated administrative burdens.

President Trump has appointed Jerry Falwell Jr., President of Liberty University, to lead a task force to consider and make recommendations related to the deregulation of higher education  It is salient to note that Liberty University is the largest private, not-for-profit, university in the US.  Liberty is an evangelical Christian school accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools commission.  According to the university website, Liberty’s residential enrollment is 15,000 and another 94,000 students are enrolled in its online programs.

Below is a laundry list of areas of potential regulatory review of which deregulation could impact higher education both positively and negatively:

Campus Safety and Sexual Assault

  • Guidance on the enforcement of Title IX as it relates to sexual assault and violence (reversing the guidance was a plank in the Republican platform)
  • Jeanne Clery Act

Federal Funding of indirect (public) institutions and direct aid to students

  • Income-based repayment of Federal student loans including Perkins Loans
  • Student loan provider source – government supplied vs. private administration
  • Grants such as SEOG (Pell) and LEAP (need-based student work-study and community service)
  • Student loan debt rates and interest accrual on loans while students are enrolled
  • Direct federal funding to state institutions
  • Direct student aid
  • Elimination or simplification of the Free Application Federal Student Aid
  • Risk sharing to hold institutions financially accountable for unpaid student loans

FLSA Overtime Rule

  • Pending adjustment of salary threshold for exempt employees from $23,660 to $47,476

Immigration

  • Restrictions to the US entry of international students, visiting academic personnel, scientists and guest speakers

Tax Codes

  • Higher education tax benefits such as employer-provided tuition benefits
  • Tax reform and its impact on the Federal revenue available for direct and indirect student aid
  • Use of private, endowed gifts to private universities

Regional Accreditation

  • Federal accreditation standards, particularly those related to peer-review
  • Accreditation standards applied to non- and for-profit institutions

Teacher Preparation

  • Federally defined regulations that are associated with funding approval

The prospect of federal deregulation is definitely something to monitor and be aware of as we interact with university partners and residents.  Anxiety is often associated with uncertainty and change and an empathic response goes a long way in supporting meaningful partnerships.  In addition, deregulation orders may be accompanied with campus protests and demonstrations.  Being knowledgeable about the changes and their potential impact will reinforce CLV’s credibility with its partners and contribute to a proactive operational stance.