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H.R. 2637 (113th): Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 10, 2013.

Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act - (Sec. 2) Repeals certain Department of Education regulations that for purposes of determining whether a school is eligible to participate in programs under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA): (1) require institutions of higher education (IHEs) and postsecondary vocational institutions (except religious schools) to be legally authorized by the state in which they are situated, (2) delineate what such legal authorization requires of states and schools, (3) impose standards and disclosure requirements on programs that prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation, and (4) define "credit hour."

Restores regulations that were in effect on June 30, 2011, but were amended by the regulations that this Act repeals.

Prohibits the Secretary of Education from promulgating or enforcing any regulation or rule not in effect on the date of this Act's enactment regarding: (1) the state authorization for IHEs to operate within a state, or (2) the definition or application of the term "gainful employment." Ends that prohibition when a law is enacted that extends by at least two fiscal years the authorization or duration of one or more programs under the HEA.

Prohibits the Secretary from promulgating or enforcing any regulation or rule that defines "credit hour" for any purpose under the HEA.

(Sec. 3) Amends title IV (Student Assistance) of the HEA to authorize nonprofit IHEs to make payments to third-party entities for services that include student recruitment and are based on the amount of tuition that the IHE generates from student enrollment if the third-party entity: (1) is not affiliated with the IHE, (2) does not provide incentive payments to its employees for their success in enrolling students or securing financial aid for them, (3) is not paid by the IHE solely or separately for student recruitment services, and (4) will not make student recruitment information available to any other person or entity.