Eastern Gateway Granted Preliminary Injunction Against Department of Education

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — Eastern Gateway Community College has been granted a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Education’s cease-and-desist action July 18 that halted the school’s Free College Benefit Program.

The Department of Education’s cease-and-desist order prohibited new enrollments and caused uncertainty for current students as to whether they could finish their programs.

Eastern Gateway filed a lawsuit and sought injunctive relief, arguing that the cease-and-desist action had been taken without affording the college administrative process, and was causing the college and its students’ irreparable harm.

“DOE’s actions create certain and imminent financial losses so severe to EGCC that it threatens its continued operations as a community college,” the complaint stated.

U.S. Judge James L. Graham agreed and granted the preliminary injunction. As a result, EGCC will open spring registration on Tuesday, Oct. 25th for continuing students in the Free College Benefit Program and for new students shortly thereafter. 

“Our focus has been on getting answers for our students and employees. We are happy that students can plan for the spring 2023 semester and concentrate on their studies,” stated College President Michael Geoghegan. “The college has our teams ready to answer questions, academically advise, and help students prepare for their programs.”

While the underlying litigation is ongoing, Eastern Gateway celebrates this much-needed relief for its students, employees, and communities impacted by the college’s programs and offerings. The Spring 2023 Semester begins on January 9. 

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Sept. 2, 2022: EGCC Seeks Injunction to Stop Federal Enforcement Actions Over ‘Free College’
Aug. 11, 2022: Feds Tighten Rules for Pell Grant Payments to Eastern Gateway
July 28, 2022: EGCC Temporarily Suspends Enrollments in Free College Program

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