Monday, June 8, 2015

Overseeing the Outsourced - Michael Stratford, Inside Higher Ed

Colleges in recent years have increasingly turned to outside companies to manage parts of the financial aid process and provide other services to students. And the boom in outsourcing now has federal regulators racing to keep up. The Education Department is beefing up its oversight over the hundreds of different companies that colleges hire for a wide range of services that it says are somehow related to federal student aid dollars and therefore subject to regulation. That includes things as mundane as document processing as well as innovative platforms that colleges use to track student financial aid and provide loan counseling to students. Department officials have set up a new process for tracking these companies, which they’re responsible for regulating but have had trouble identifying in some cases. That’s raised new questions and some confusion about who is subject to regulation, especially for companies providing bundled services or financial literacy.

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