Maynard Cooper’s Higher Education Practice Group is deeply experienced in all manner of regulatory issues that are important to institutions of higher education, educational investors, third-party servicers, and accrediting agencies. Attorneys in the group have worked in the U.S. Department of Education and nationally recognized accrediting agencies, in other specialized law firms focused on higher education, and as in-house and outside counsel to colleges and universities, investor groups, and accrediting agencies. Their expertise in regulatory and operational matters complements the Firm’s other practice groups that have a long history of working with institutions of higher education in such matters as banking and finance, cybersecurity, real estate, employment and human resources, intellectual property, immigration, litigation, and transactions.

Our comprehensive higher education practice includes the following services and specializations:

  • Regional, national and programmatic accreditation reviews, responses, and appeals
  • Title IV and other federal student aid matters, including eligibility and certification issues, program reviews, compliance audits, and appeals
  • Cybersecurity and data privacy policies and requirements
  • Title IX policies and investigations
  • Clery Act and Violence Against Women Act policies
  • Professional licensing and certification issues, including appeals
  • State authorization and approval
  • Substantive changes, including new campuses and changes of ownership or control
  • Accrediting agency recognition applications and appeals

Representative projects that we have handled include the following:

  • Worked with colleges to resolve accreditation compliance issues, including institutional governance concerns
  • Conducted Title IX investigations, hearings, and appeals
  • Prepared response documents and represented college in potential adverse proceeding by state board of nursing
  • Resolved final audit and closed-school discharge determinations
  • Represented parties in M&A transactions involving higher education institutions
  • Reviewed and revised college policies and procedures, including student handbook and Title IX policies
  • Advised institutions on usage of HEERF and other emergency federal funds in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Represented an accrediting agency through the federal recognition process

Litigation attorneys in the higher education practice have successfully represented colleges and universities in a number of diverse matters across the United States. A representative sample of these matters includes the following:

  • Student and employee litigation and arbitrations, including those arising from the closure of a national chain
  • False Claims Act and related qui tam actions
  • Intellectual property dispute following a transaction
  • Commercial real estate disputes
  • Discrimination and wrongful discharge claims

Our attorneys routinely monitor legal and regulatory developments that are important to our college and university clients. Our most recent Client Alerts are available below:

Our attorneys frequently present to the Higher Education industry at professional conferences and webinars. Our most recent presentations are available below.

Education News
Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Client Alert: FTC Amends GLBA Safeguards Rule

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) considers institutions of higher education (“IHE”) participating in federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act, as amended, to be covered financial institutions under the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act. The FTC’s oversight activities are carried out in accordance with the Safeguards Rule (“Rule”). 1...

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

U.S. Department of Education Announces New HEERF and SNAP Guidance

The U.S. Department of Education (“Department”) announced new guidance to assist institutions of higher education with the use of their Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”) grants. These HEERF funds were authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) in April 2020 (“HEERF I”); the Coronavirus...

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Thursday, March 18, 2021

CDC Issues Updated COVID-19 Interim Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued updated interim guidance regarding testing and screening for the COVID-19 virus. The update provides new information specifically directed to college and university administrators. Topics include pre-opening and periodic testing, isolation and quarantine protocols when infection is detected, and suggestions for...

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