The Office of Postsecondary Education formulates federal postsecondary education policy including policy relating to the federal student financial assistance programs. OPE also collects and disseminates student financial assistance program data as well as data in several key areas relating to postsecondary education.
Religious Liberty and Free Inquiry Rulemaking
The U.S. Department of Education has issued the Religious Liberty and Free Inquiry Final Rule to help ensure that public institutions uphold fundamental rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and that private institutions adhere to their stated institutional policies regarding freedom of speech, including academic freedom.
The Final Rule also ensures the equal treatment and constitutional rights of religious student organizations at public institutions, and separately provides clarity to faith-based institutions with respect to their non-discrimination duties under Title IX. The Final Rule revises existing regulations for certain discretionary grant programs under Titles III and V of the Higher Education Act of 1964, as amended, to more closely align with the First Amendment and other federal laws. This rulemaking follows months of careful deliberation and extensive input from stakeholders, represented by over 17,000 public comments.
- Final Rule PDF (1.13M)
- Final Rule Fact Sheet PDF (130K)
- Notice of Proposed Rulemaking PDF (670K)
- NPRM Fact Sheet PDF (145K)
College Financing Plan
[formerly known as the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet]
The Office of Postsecondary Education is working with students, families, the financial aid community, and others to develop model formats for financial aid offer forms. These forms, often referred to as Financial Aid Award Letters, are sent to prospective students by colleges, universities and other postsecondary institutions to let them know how much financial aid the student can expect to receive when they attend school.
Gainful Employment Disclosure Template
Postsecondary institutions that participate in the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended, to disclose to prospective students certain information about the institution’s Gainful Employment (GE) Programs.
State Authorization Regulations: Questions and answers regarding state authorization regulations that go into effect July 1, 2015 MS Word (44K)
Information on the 2018 - 2019 negotiated rulemaking activities for higher education.
Information on the 2017 - 2018 negotiated rulemaking activities for higher education.
Data Collection and Reporting
OPE collects and reports on data in several areas relating to postsecondary education:
Student Financial Assistance Program Data - Includes annual summary data for the federal Pell, Campus-Based and Loans Programs, other federal student aid program data, and links to other federal data and statistical resources.
Title II Reports on the Quality of Teacher Preparation Programs
Links to the authorizing legislation for OPE programs, program regulations, reports, and other relevant policy information.
Other Policy Resources
Includes additional resources from the U.S. Department of Education, other federal agencies, and non-federal sources.
- Department of Education Budget News
- THOMAS: Legislative Information from the Library of Congress
- U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Education and Labor
- U.S. Senate, Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Government Accountability Office
- Congressional Budget Office
- Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance
Education Agencies and Associations
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Postsecondary Education
Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Building
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202