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ERIC Number: ED524519
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 71
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Higher Education Regulations Study: Preliminary Findings
Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance
In the "Higher Education Opportunity Act" of 2008, Congress charged the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance with conducting a review and analysis of regulations affecting higher education, to determine the extent to which regulations are overly burdensome and need to be streamlined, improved, or eliminated. Specifically, Congress recommended the Advisory Committee determine which regulations are "duplicative, no longer necessary, inconsistent with other federal regulations, or overly burdensome." Pursuant to the legislative mandate, the Advisory Committee convened two review panels of individuals who have experience with federal regulations affecting all sectors of higher education to review regulations and make recommendations for streamlining, improvement, or elimination. In addition, a website was developed and maintained to provide information on HEA regulations, including an area for the public to offer recommendations of regulations in need of streamlining. The Committee further engaged the community through numerous meetings, conference calls, and presentations soliciting feedback and suggestions on regulatory burden. This report presents preliminary findings from the review panels, the website, and the web-based survey implemented to assess the perceptions of the higher education community toward specific regulations and the overall regulatory system, as well as preferences for future regulatory reform efforts. Design of the study efforts, including the survey, was driven by five questions: (1) How burdensome does the higher education community consider the regulations under the HEA? Which regulations are perceived as most burdensome?; (2) Can HEA regulations be streamlined or eliminated without adversely affecting program integrity, accountability, student access, and student success?; (3) Are key components of the system of regulation under the HEA perceived as needing change?; (4) Would streamlining or eliminating individual regulations reduce costs for institutions and students? Would modifications to the system of regulation reduce such costs?; and (5) What should be the focus of future regulatory reform efforts for higher education? How should such efforts proceed? Findings to the first research question are: (1) A large majority of respondents perceive the regulations under the HEA as a whole as burdensome or overly burdensome; (2) Respondents perceive overlap between the HEA regulations and other regulations, particularly with state regulations and other federal regulations; (3) A majority of respondents rank the regulations under the HEA as most burdensome among all types of regulation; and (4) The majority of office administrators perceive 14 of the 15 regulations cited in the survey as very burdensome or burdensome. Finding to the second question is: The majority of office administrators perceive that many of the 15 regulations cited in the survey could be either eliminated or modified without losing necessary protections. Findings to the third research question are: (1) The majority of respondents perceive the monitoring processes to be effective at identifying problem areas and informing changes to the regulations, although a plurality judge them as only marginally effective; (2) A majority of both senior executives and office administrators perceive the negotiated rulemaking process as effective but needing change; (3) Less than a third of the office administrators indicate familiarity with the federal regulatory burden calculations; and (4) Of those office administrators familiar with the federal regulatory burden calculations, a large majority view them as inaccurate. Findings to the fourth question are: (1) The majority of office administrators perceive that modifying or eliminating 13 of the 15 regulations cited would yield significant or very significant savings; and (2) Senior executives perceive that savings from regulatory reform would be used most likely for expanding counseling and customer services, as well as increasing need-based institutional aid. Finding to the fifth research question are: (1) The majority of both senior executives and office administrators prefer pursuing sector-specific or performance-based regulatory structures; (2) The majority of senior executives prefer 8 of the 13 triggers for regulatory relief cited in the survey; and (3) The majority of both senior executives and office administrators find further study of the HEA regulations, a comprehensive study, or an ED review of regulations with the community to be very or somewhat helpful. Appended are: (1) Profile of Survey Respondents; (2) Profile of Individual Regulations Used in the Higher Education Regulations Study Survey; (3) Additional Suggestions of Burdensome Requirements by Survey Respondents; (4) Title IV Review Panelists Higher Education Regulations Study Review Panel #1; (5) Higher Education Act Review Panelists Higher Education Regulations Study Review Panel #2; (6) Letter from Advisory Committee Chair and Vice Chair Announcing Survey; (7) Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance Members; (8) Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance Staff; (9) Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance Authorizing Legislation. (Contains 21 tables.)
Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. 80 F Street NW Suite 413, Washington, DC 20202-7582. Tel: 202-219-2099; Fax: 202-219-3032; e-mail: acsfa@ed.gov; Web site: http://www2.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/acsfa/edlite-index.html
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Higher Education Act 1965