The Education Department on Friday announced the negotiators who will hammer out new rules for PLUS loans, campus debit cards, state authorization for distance programs and other topics on the administration’s sweeping second-term regulatory agenda.
The negotiated-rulemaking panel will convene for the first time on February 19 and meet several times over the next several months to address a range of regulations for institutions that receive federal student aid and the companies the handle the disbursement of that money.
Among the more contentious issues the panel will focus on are the eligibility requirements for obtaining a PLUS loan. Consumer advocates and some think tanks have called for tighter eligibility requirements while some historically black and for-profit colleges, whose students and their families rely heavily on the loans, have said the department’s efforts to tighten the underwriting criteria have already cut off college access for low-income and underserved students.
The panel will also attempt to draft rules for student debit cards and other financial products on campus through which students receive disbursements of their federal loans and grants. Advocacy groups, lawmakers and other federal agencies have questioned the lucrative arrangements that some debit card providers have with colleges to offer such products.
In addition, the negotiated-rulemaking committee will also seek to rewrite the department’s state authorization rule for distance education programs. The rule, which required colleges providing distance education to obtain permission to operate from every state in which they enroll students, was thrown out by a federal appeals court in 2012. The panel will also tackle the conversion of clock hours to credit hours when awarding credit, and rules governing when a student can receive federal aid for repeated coursework.
Following are the list of negotiators:
Carney McCullough, U.S. Department of Education
Pam Moran, U.S. Department of Education
Chris Lindstrom, higher education program director, U.S. Public Interest Research Group
*Maxwell John Love, vice president, United States Student Association
Whitney Barkley, staff attorney, Mississippi Center for Justice
Toby Merrill, director, Project on Predatory Student Lending, The Legal Services Center, Harvard Law School
Suzanne Martindale, staff attorney, Consumers Union
Carolyn Fast, special counsel, Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau, New York Attorney General’s Office
*Jenny Wojewoda, assistant attorney general, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office
David Sheridan, director of financial aid, School of International & Public Affairs, Columbia University
*Paula Luff, associate vice president of financial aid DePaul University
Gloria Kobus, director of student accounts & university receivables, Youngstown State University
*Joan Piscitello, treasurer, Iowa State University
David Swinton, president, Benedict College
*George French, president, Miles College
Brad Hardison, financial aid director, Santa Barbara City College
*Melissa Gregory, chief enrollment services and financial aid officer, Montgomery College
Chuck Knepfle, financial aid director, Clemson University
*J. Goodlett McDaniel, associate provost for distance education, George Mason University
Elizabeth Hicks, executive director, student financial services, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
*Joe Weglarz, executive director, student financial services, Marist College
Deborah Bushway, chief academic officer and vice president of academic innovation, Capella University
*Valerie Mendelsohn, vice president, compliance and risk management , American Career College
Casey McGuane, chief operations officer, Higher One
*Bill Norwood, chief architect and director, Heartland Payment Systems
Russ Poulin, deputy director, research and analysis, WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies
*Marshall Hill, executive director, National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements
Dan Toughey, president, TouchNet
*Michael Gradisher, vice president of regulatory and legal affairs, Pearson Embanet
Paul Kundert, president and CEO, University of Wisconsin Credit Union
*Tom Levandowski, senior company counsel, Wells Fargo Bank Law Department, Consumer Lending & Corporate Regulatory Division
Leah Matthews, executive director, Distance Education and Training Council
*Elizabeth Sibolski, president Middle States Commission on Higher Education
(Asterisk denotes alternate.)