Jonathan D. Tarnow 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. He has extensive experience advising public, 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, and has represented institutions in Title IV compliance reviews and audits, including administrative hearings and appeals related to findings of non-compliance. Jonathan is a partner in the firm's Government and Regulatory Affairs Group and a member of the Education Team and the Privacy and Data Security Team.
He frequently 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. This includes 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.
Jonathan also 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 the legal authorization to operate both on-ground and distance education programs.
He also counsels educational institutions and third-party service providers on federal and state laws governing student records retention and student data privacy.
- Represents institutions in Title IV compliance reviews and audits, including administrative hearings and appeals related to findings of non-compliance.
- Counsels clients on U.S. Department of Education negotiated rulemaking processes and prepared client comments to proposed regulations.
- Advises clients on legal matters that arise from institutional participation in federal student aid programs, including change of ownership processes and requirements, campus crime, safety and sexual assault regulations under the Clery Act and Title IX and on rules governing federal educational benefits to veterans and active military personnel.
- Represents clients in 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.
- 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.
- Assists 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.
- 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).
- Collaborates with the firm’s health law practice concerning clients’ handling of student health records under the complicated intersecting requirements of FERPA and HIPAA.
- District of Columbia
- George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1996
- George Washington University, B.A., 1993
- National Association of College and University Attorneys
- George Washington University Alumni Association, Board of Directors (2007-2015)
- George Washington University Board of Trustees (1997-2000)
- District of Columbia Bar, Section on Administrative Law and Agency Practice, Steering Committee, Co-Chair (2005-2006); Member (2003-2006)
- District of Columbia Bar, Education Law and Policy Committee, Chair (1999-2002)
Jonathan's Areas of Focus
- Corporate Transactions and Financings
- Distance Education
- Education Data Security and Privacy
- Education Law
- Fiduciary Duties and Corporate Governance
- Government and Regulatory Affairs
- Legislative Matters
- State Authorization and Oversight
- U.S. Department of Education Regulatory Compliance
- Information Privacy
- Information Security