The American Consumer Institute is always on the lookout for opportunities to stand up for the principles at the core of our vision and values. Those who follow our work know that we believe that the regulatory burden facing Americans is too great. We believe sound policy is rooted in data and analysis — not political talking points. And we believe that access to education for all Americans is a necessity.

That’s why we recently took the opportunity to express our serious concerns about a drastic expansion of the U.S. Department of Education’s regulatory framework governing the ability of American colleges and universities to work with online program managers to strengthen online learning and make higher education more accessible.

In public testimony delivered on March 9, ACI told the U.S. Department of Education in no uncertain terms that our organization opposes this regulatory overreach. Comments were also submitted to the formal federal docket. You can view our comment here.

In our communication with the Department of Education, we pointed out that the regulatory actions being pushed by the Department are not backed by sound data, and that its arguments about the impact of online program managers on student debt are unsubstantiated. We also note that the Department’s actions will make education less accessible to traditionally marginalized students.

We’ll be watching this new regulatory push closely, and we will not miss any opportunities to encourage the Department of Education to reconsider its position on this flawed guidance, which will harm students and depress innovation in online education.