The update also lists immediate changes in the interpretation of DCL 23-03 that the Department wanted to communicate immediately:
Specifically, the Department does not consider contracts involving the following activities to constitute third-party servicer relationships:
- Study abroad programs.
- Recruitment of foreign students not eligible for Title IV aid.
- Clinical or externship opportunities that meet requirements under existing regulations because they are closely monitored by qualified personnel at an institution.
- Course-sharing consortia and arrangements between Title IV-eligible institutions to share employees to teach courses or process financial aid.
- Dual or concurrent enrollment programs provided through agreements with high schools and local education agencies, which are exempt because they do not involve students receiving Title IV aid.
- Local police departments helping to compile and analyze crime statistics, unless they write or file a report on behalf of an institution for compliance purposes.
- The Department will identify any other services that fall into this category as it reviews comments.
- The Department also intends to remove the provision of the guidance document pertaining to foreign ownership of a third-party servicer. It will consider any further changes in the context of an announced future negotiated rulemaking on Third Party Servicer issues.
- The Department will carefully review public comments on areas of confusion or concern and consider clarifying and narrowing the scope of the guidance in several areas, including software and computer services, student retention, and instructional content. These clarifications could include other areas as it continues to review comments and seeks to balance the need for greater transparency and oversight against administrative burden, among other factors.
- While the Department reviews the comments and prepares revisions to the guidance letter, previous Dear Colleague Letters GEN 12-08, GEN 15-01, and GEN 16-15 (as amended by our March 8, 2017, electronic announcement) remain in effect.