The Department of Education Extends Online Education Flexibilities to Year End

  • The department of Education is providing additional guidance to the one issued in March expanding the distance education regulatory flexibilities through December 31, 2020.
  • According to the new guidance, colleges can continue to use distance education through the end of the year, even if they don’t have accreditor approval to do so and will stay eligible for federal funding without going through the typical review process required to launch online and distance education programs.
  • Colleges also don’t have to return Title IV funds if students withdraw because of a coronavirus related issue. Schools that have switched from in-person to virtual instruction are allowed to consider all withdrawals of students enrolled in campus-based instruction to be a result of the COVID-19 national emergency.
  • Accrediting agencies may also continue conducting virtual site visits, however it is noted that an on-site visit must follow a virtual site visit, in a timeframe that is reasonably practicable.