The Firm’s Higher Education group has a long history of representing institutions of higher education and staying ahead of increasingly complex legal issues on behalf of numerous clients. We work with colleges, universities, service providers and other academic enterprises to seize new opportunities, rigorously defend their interests and successfully meet the challenges of a constantly changing business, regulatory and technological landscape.
We provide significant experience in:
- Regulatory matters related to federal financial aid programs
- Institutional and programmatic accreditation
- State licensing
- Compliance programs
- Legal issues surrounding governance
- Financial aid policies
- Tax issues and tax-exempt status compliance
- Privacy issues
- Finance and financial restructuring
- Contract law
- Legislative analysis and reform
- Risk management
- Labor and employment issues
- Employment Benefits and ERISA
- Public affairs and communication
- Mergers and acquisitions
Additionally, the Firm’s lawyers have special expertise with career colleges and serve in key roles in the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities.
Practice Group Members
- Ronald L. Holt (Lead)
- Megan R. Banks
- Joel H. Driskell
- Brian H. Dunn
- Mary C. O’Connell
- John W. Witten
Higher Education Litigation Experience: Some Representative Matters
- On behalf of ConCorde Career Colleges, Inc., Ron obtained an injunction against the Secretary of Education of the U.S. Department of Education related to improper servicing of student loans, which allowed ConCorde to continue to participate in the Federal Student Loan and Grant Programs.
- In a complex federal case concerning whether or not a nonprofit institution should be governed by the federal “90/10 Rule,” Ron won an injunction on behalf of Mission Group Kansas, Inc. After the case went up on appeal, it was remanded for further consideration by the trial court, and the parties reached a settlement favorable to the school.
- In a New York federal case, Ron obtained a declaration judgement in favor of NYC-based Calise Beauty School, Inc. against the Secretary of Education concerning loan servicing records that the Secretary had failed to require the state of NY to provide to NY schools that were challenging inflated loan default rates. The successful judgment mandated the Secretary to require the state to provide NY schools with all original and underlying records related to loan servicing for schools.
- In an arbitration of contract claims brought by a buyer of a career college, alleging financial statement inaccuracies and non-disclosure of material information, the firm obtained a ruling exonerating the sellers.
Related Practice Areas
Related Publications and Announcements
- Gainful Employment – Analysis of Proposed Gainful Employment (GE) Regulations (published in Career Education Review, or CER)
- Meeting Student Expectations – What Happens if the Current Enrollment Boom is Followed by a Job Placement Crash? (co-authored with Sandy Lockwood of EdVice & published in CER)
- Change for Dollars – 10 Important HEOA Changes Affecting Institutional Eligibility and Participation (published in Career College Central, or CCC)
- Getting Schooled on New Math: the New 90-10 Rule (co-authored with Rick Thomas and published in CCC)
- The Case of LaMarca vs DOE – Even the Offer of a $1 Million Letter of Credit Failed to Save the Schools (published in CER)
Attorneys from the Firm’s Higher Education group speak at conferences throughout the nation and give presentations on various current regulatory issues. For a list of our presentations, please contact our office.