Our lawyers have knowledge and skill in advising clients on the numerous laws and regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Education, including Title IV of the Higher Education Act (the HEA) as related to federal student financial aid program eligibility and participation, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), among others. We have advised numerous institutions of higher education subject to U.S. Department of Education compliance reviews and investigations, whether by Federal Student Aid program staff, the Office of Civil Rights or the Office of Inspector General, and we have broad experience challenging adverse regulatory actions through the administrative appeal processes. Our lawyers are also involved in the development of federal education regulations, including the negotiated rulemaking process utilized by the U.S. Department of Education under the HEA.
We also maintain a wide range of contacts and relationships with the Department’s national and regional staff that allow us to provide our clients with informed and timely insights on policy developments. Our team therefore brings to any engagement not only an understanding of what a law or regulation currently states, but also the history of a provision and the government’s policy rationale for the rule. We know how to develop and deploy the administrative and legal strategies necessary to achieve results, and we regularly succeed on issues at all levels of the U.S. Department of Education.
Our experience includes:
- Represented and successfully defended a major distance education institution in an Office of Inspector General compliance audit with respect to its tracking of online student attendance for purposes of Title IV financial aid.
- Advised a postsecondary educational institution with respect to its resolution of Title IV student financial aid liabilities for discrepancies in students’ high school diploma documentation.
- Represented a major private university in an internal investigation concerning the handling by university officials of allegations of sexual misconduct and in a subsequent investigation of Clery Act compliance by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Conducted an independent investigation and Title IX policy review on behalf of a major public university concerning the handling of allegations of sexual misconduct by a faculty member.