The Higher Education Community Engages the Biden Administration on Third-Party Servicers and Increased Visa Fees

Last week, CGS and 14 other organizations sent a letter to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona concerning proposed changes to the 2011 guidance on incentive compensation for college recruiters and the bundling of services exception for third-party servicers. The guidance clarifies when companies and others who provide recruitment services to institutions of higher education will fall into the third-party servicers category regarding online program managers. In the letter, the organization said, “As we saw during the pandemic, online programs are crucial to ensuring our ability to deliver quality post-secondary education programs. Ultimately, many edtech services hold great promise as part of our continuing efforts to provide access to a high-quality postsecondary education. Let’s be careful not to do more harm than good, and certainly not to act before we have a good grasp of the entire picture. It is clear that we do not yet know enough to understand what revisions to the guidance will truly serve students. Any proposed changes to existing guidance must be carefully weighed in order to protect students while not stifling the innovation that is so necessary for the success of our students and higher education’s future.”

Yesterday, the Department of Education also announced virtual public hearings on April 11, 12, and 13 to receive stakeholder feedback on potential issues for future rulemaking sessions, including third-party servicers and related issues.

Recently, CGS signed on to a community letter regarding the proposed increase in fees charged by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for international students. The letter says, “USCIS is seeking an almost 40 percent overall increase in fees to many of the programs important to U.S. higher education and to our international students, faculty, and staff. We are concerned that the severity of these fee increases will deter these international scholars.”

CGS staff will continue to closely monitor regulatory actions on both issues.