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On Friday, May 31, Cortiva Institute School of Beauty, Health and Wellness joined The Coalition of Career Schools in filing a federal lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Education’s “Bare Minimum Rule,” which replaced the former 150% Rule.

On June 21, 2024, District Judge Mark T. Pittman of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth Division) granted a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the Bare Minimum Rule (Program Length/150% Rule) in 360 Degree Education v. U.S. Department of Education. The Court enjoined the Department from enforcing or implementing the amended version of 34 CFR 668.14(b)(26) (published on October 31, 2023) in any way, pending resolution of the lawsuit.

In previous lawsuits against the Department of Education (ED), judges have initially provided relief to only the plaintiff – so in this case it is the one massage school and all schools that are a member of the coalition. The initial preliminary injunction issued last Friday provided a national relief, yet now the judge will hear the case and make a final decision through a summary judgement which could change the outcome and the judge could limit the relief to just the Plaintiff which includes the Coalition of Career Schools. It is estimated that it could take up to a year for the final judgement decision.

What does this mean for you?

According to very reliable organizations, ED cannot enforce the 100% rule until the judge’s summary judgement decision is reached.

Currently, ED has not published an announcement regarding the impact of this recent information. Institutions should review the current status of their GE programs and may want to consider the following:

  1. If you have not yet received state or accrediting approvals for your reduced program lengths, consider if you want to pursue those program changes.
  2. If you have already received, state and/or accrediting approval for the reduced program length, you may have to ask those agencies to re-approve teaching the longer program length.
  3. If you have already entered the reduced program length via FSA’s Partner Connect E-app, you will have to update and remove it, unless you plan on still teaching the new reduced program.
  4. If students have already enrolled in a reduced program after July 1, 2024, and you are now not going to teach that program, the institution must notify students that the reduced program is not going to be offered and provide the option to enroll in the original longer program.