The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is recognized by the federal government as an accrediting agency for institutions of higher education. As a result, the U.S. Department of Education requires that the HLC assure that all of the institutions it accredits comply with federal regulations. Compliance with these requirements ensures that institutions will remain eligible to distribute federal financial aid.

Topics covered in the federal compliance report include:

  • assignment of credits, program length, and tuition
  • institutional records of student complaints
  • publication of transfer policies
  • practices for verification of student identity
  • Title IV program responsibilities
  • required information for students and the public (e.g., course catalogues, student handbooks, and information about the institution’s calendar, grading, admissions, academic program requirements, tuition and fees, and refund policies)
  • advertising and recruitment materials and other public information
  • review of student outcome data (including course completion, job placement, licensing examination)
  • publication of student outcome data (including retention and completion rates)
  • standing with state and with other accrediting agencies
  • public notification of opportunity to comment on institutional quality as part of comprehensive accreditation review
  • competency-based programs, including direct assessment programs, and faculty-student engagement