Significant Positive Development in Washington!!


Dear AACS Member:
When is the last time you received an email with that subject line??
We are writing to let you know of a late breaking development today that is extremely positive news for AACS membership:
The Gainful Employment Rule, which was the subject of recent negotiated rulemaking at the U.S. Department of Education, will not be finalized this year. 
According to the Biden Administration’s federal regulatory agenda update today, we should not expect a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Gainful Employment Rule until April 2023, with the earliest effective date of July 1, 2024.  For the text of the agenda update on which we are relying, see here.
As you know, AACS representatives met with senior U.S. Department of Education officials in May 2022 to express our serious concerns with the Department’s draft Gainful Employment proposal, including a newly proposed Earnings Threshold that could have resulted in more than half of cosmetology school programs becoming Title IV ineligible. The GE rule is by far our association’s top regulatory concern due to its potential devastating impact on our schools, our students, and the graduates and employers who value what we do.
We are extremely heartened that the Department has wisely chosen to take more time with the development of the complex Gainful Employment rule. It is critically important that the Department “get it right” and we hope to work closely with the Department in coming months to help shape a more fair and reasonable rule.
Also of note, the updated regulatory agenda indicates the following rules will not be finalized this year: Financial Responsibility; Administrative Capability, Certification Procedures, and Ability to Benefit. The pause on Certification Procedures is also of particular import to our membership, as proposed changes to the Certification regulations would have amended the current Title IV program length for programs leading to licensure in a manner that would have reduced the Title IV aid available to students attending our schools in states with longer than the national median for program length. As we explained to the Department, this change would negatively impact students’ ability to continue in and complete our programs.
We continue to expect one or more Notices of Proposed Rulemaking on the other topics covered during negotiated rulemaking, and AACS will alert membership of those publications and share information on how to submit a public comment to those regulations.
With thanks for your support and good work,
Cecil Kidd
Executive Director
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