Image: Update, 9 a.m. EST Tuesday: The Education Department announced this morning that in response to “confusion” about the guidance discussed below, the Dear Colleague Letter will not take effect until Sept. 1, rather than immediately as of Feb. 15. The department will also delay the start of the 30-day comment period on the guidance until today.


Officials in the Biden administration—and the think tank analysts who often feed them ideas—have made no secret of their disdain for the companies many colleges hire to recruit students for and operate their online academic programs, which government officials and analysts often believe can drive up the price of higher education and draw students to low-value academic programs at subpar institutions.

So no one was remotely surprised that the U.S. Education Department’s recent guidance expanding the definition of what it means to be a “third-party servicer” for institutions that receive federal financial aid funds put online

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