The Department of Education recently announced on April 11, 2023 that they will postpone the implementation of their guidance on Third Party Servicers (TPS) due to public comments. The decision to delay the guidance's implementation is a response to concerns raised by the higher education community and stakeholders regarding its broad definition of TPS. In the blog post
, the Department of Education stated that they will work to narrow the definition of TPS to ensure that it is more precise and accurate. For more on the initial proposed guidance and its impact on diversity, equity, and inclusion in global learning, read our first post here
According to the blog post, "The Department recognizes that Third Party Servicers play an important role in serving students and institutions. At the same time, we want to ensure that our guidance accurately captures the entities that pose a risk to students and taxpayers." The post also goes on to say, "There are several activities that generated hundreds of comments but are not subject to third-party servicer requirements under the guidance.” Of these, study abroad and recruitment of foreign students not eligible for Title IV aid would not be included in this definition, which is promising news.
The Department of Education also acknowledged the concerted efforts of the higher education community in raising concerns about the TPS guidance. The post stated that "We appreciate the feedback from the higher education community and will continue to work closely with stakeholders to ensure that the final guidance is clear, precise, and effective."
This decision is a positive step towards ensuring that TPS guidance is properly targeted towards those entities that pose a risk to students and taxpayers. It also highlights the importance of public comments and input in shaping policy decisions that affect the higher education community.