Jonathan D. Tarnow



(202) 354-1357 phone
(202) 842-8465 fax

Jonathan Tarnow is a partner in the firm's Government and Regulatory Affairs Practice Group and a member of the Education Team and the Privacy and Data Security Team.  He advises clients on a wide range of education law matters involving the U.S. Department of Education, accrediting bodies, state agencies and other government regulators.

Higher Education Act and Federal Student Aid Programs.  Jonathan has extensive experience advising both non-profit and proprietary institutions of higher education on the statutory and regulatory requirements of federal student financial aid programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act.  He has represented institutions in Title IV compliance reviews and audits, including administrative hearings and appeals related to findings of non-compliance.  He has counseled clients on U.S. Department of Education negotiated rulemaking processes and prepared client comments to proposed regulations.  Jonathan also advises clients on other legal matters that arise from institutional participation in federal student aid programs, including change of ownership processes and requirements, campus crime and safety regulations under the Clery Act, and on rules governing federal educational benefits to veterans and active military personnel.

Education Industry Transactions and Contractual Agreements.  Jonathan represents private equity funds, private investors, publicly traded and privately held education companies, and financial institutions that serve postsecondary educational institutions on transactions in the education sector.  Such matters include purchases and sales of institutions or their assets, conversions of private institutions from proprietary to non-profit status, credit facilities to support acquisitions or ongoing operations, and other complex transactions involving colleges and universities.  He also counsels parties on contractual agreements involving various third-party services that support educational institutions – including student admissions and enrollment services, marketing, financial aid administration, curriculum development, student counseling and online course delivery – with respect to regulatory requirements or limitations that may apply.

State Educational Licensing and Authorization.  Jonathan assists educational institutions and other training providers at the postsecondary and K-12 levels, both private non-profit and for-profit, navigate the ever-changing regime of state laws and regulations governing both on-ground and distance education programs.  He has worked with multiple postsecondary institutions regarding their compliance with the specific state authorization requirements for Title IV federal student aid program participation, and he has testified before state legislative committees about those federal rules and related changes to state higher education laws.

Student Records Privacy.  Jonathan counsels clients at both the postsecondary and K-12 levels, including third-party service providers, on compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  He also collaborates with the firm’s health law practice concerning clients’ handling of student health records under the complicated intersecting requirements of FERPA and HIPAA.

In General.  Jonathan received both his law and undergraduate degrees from The George Washington University, where he has since served on both the university’s board of trustees and the alumni association’s board of directors.  He is past co-chair of the D.C. Bar Administrative Law and Agency Practice Section, and also served as chair of the section's Education Law and Policy Committee.


Client Alert
U.S. Department of Education Issues New Guidance on Incentive Compensation Regulations
Client Alert
Student Data Concerns Give Rise to Proposed Changes in Federal Education Privacy Laws
Client Alert
U.S. Department of Education Issues Proposed Regulations From Latest Title IV Program Integrity Rulemaking
Client Alert
U.S. Senate HELP Committee Releases White Papers on Higher Education Act Reauthorization
Client Alert
Congress Considers Multiple Proposals in Advance of Higher Education Act Reauthorization
Education Law Alert – Significant Changes to Higher Education Act Regulations
Student Aid Transcript
Death, Taxes, Program Reviews, and Audits


NACUA 2015 Conference
State Authorization of Distance Education: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities Annual Conference
HEA Reauthorization, Legislative and Regulatory Issues: What’s the State of Play?
CAPPS 2013 Legislative Policy Conference
Federal Update: Congressional and Regulatory Expectations 2013
California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools
APSCU 2011 Annual Convention & Exposition
NASFAA Annual Conference
Career College Association Annual Convention
NASFAA Annual Conference
Career College Association Annual Convention
Career College Association Annual Convention
The Many Facets of Financial Responsibility
Career College Association Annual Convention
It’s All in the Numbers: An Update on Financial Responsibility and 90/10 Issues
Career College Association Seminar
Career College Association Compliance and Ethics Seminar
Education Industry Investment Forum
M&A in Postsecondary Education
CCA Convention
Moderator of University Counsel Roundtable Discussion


Jonathan Tarnow Quoted in The Deal
Drinker Biddle Names New Partners, Counsel