FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2023
Contact: Emma Bittner
(972) 510-3395 | Emma.Bittner@younginvincibles.org
Biden-Harris Administration Finalizes Rules to Protect Students and Hold Colleges Accountable
(Washington, DC) – Today, the Biden-Harris administration published the final regulations to strengthen the Department of Education’s authority to protect students and taxpayers through improved accountability metrics for colleges and universities.
As the largest national young adult advocacy and policy organization, Young Invincibles welcomed the Department of Education’s (Department) intent to propose new regulations to make improvements in the areas of gainful employment (GE), financial value transparency, financial responsibility, administrative capability, certification procedures, and ability to benefit (ATB). YI was especially keen on the Department’s intent to expand the provisional conditions related to transcript withholding.
Young Invincibles welcomes the final regulations addressing new tools for monitoring colleges’ behaviors, protecting students from investing in programs with no economic benefit, and improving financial aid communication to students. However, we were most enthused to see the final regulations include new rules regarding transcript withholding. Now, colleges and universities cannot withhold transcripts for semesters the student did not owe the institution (have an outstanding balance).
The final regulations and rules to help protect students, ensure concise and clear communication about financial aid, and prevent colleges from withholding transcripts will go into effect on July 1, 2024.
In response, Satra D. Taylor, Director of Higher Education and Workforce Policy and Advocacy at Young Invincibles, said:
“Hundreds of thousands of borrowers have endured predatory behaviors and practices within our higher education system. The new rules finalized by the administration are not a catch-all but an essential step to fixing a broken system.
Young Invincibles worked diligently throughout the negotiated rulemaking process to uplift student voices. We had the opportunity to participate in the negotiated rulemaking committee and were one of the committee members amplifying the need to address transcript withholding.
Including guardrails to prevent transcript withholding by colleges is critical to setting students up for success and reducing barriers. However, we would like to see the Department go even further to improve the practice of transcript withholding. Transcript withholding devastates all students, particularly students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and first-generation college students who lack the resources or tools to address these outstanding debts. Young Invincibles will work to uplift the importance of transcript withholding regulations at state and national levels.
We are excited to see the administration take these essential next steps.”
In response, Greg Norwood, young adult on Negotiated Rulemaking Committee said
“The negotiated rulemaking process is a complicated and calculated system that seeks to involve a range of higher education stakeholders. Young Invincibles played a pivotal role in this process by ensuring student voices were at the center of the conversation.
As a young adult negotiator in this process, I informed the Department of Education about challenges directly impacting students. Sharing my story and the experiences of other students emphasized the urgency for these concerns to be addressed. I am happy to see the finalized rules include necessary guardrails and further precautions to protect students, especially regarding transcript withholding.
As the final regulations show, young adults must continue to be included in the negotiated rulemaking process because ultimately those closest to the problem are closest to the solution.”
Young Invincibles (YI) is a national advocacy and policy nonprofit organization focused on amplifying the voice of young people in the political process at the local, state, and federal levels. YI focuses on issues impacting young adults ages 18 to 34 in higher education, health care, economic security, and civic engagement. Our offices include Washington, D.C., California, Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Texas. For more information, please contact Emma Bittner at (972) 510-3395 or firstname.lastname@example.org