FACTS Meeting with The Florida Department of Health

Mez Varol, President of FACTS and Michael Halmon, a director on the FACTS Board met with multiple key players at the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee to discuss the impact that the U.S. Department of Education’s new “100% Rule” will have on potential students looking for a career in massage. The new 100% rule is part of the Gainful Employment Regulation which was supposed to take effect on July 1, 2024, but was temporarily stayed by the federal appellate court in Texas. The new rule requires programs, like massage, to be taught at “100% of a state’s minimum.  This is problematic for states, like Florida, which have very low minimums. In Florida, the state minimum for massage is 500 hours.  Because Florida schools can no longer teach up to the 150% of minimum, students interested in enrolling in a 500 minimum massage program will no longer qualify for Pell Grant money. Based on the number of massage school graduates who apply to the Florida Board of Massage Therapy for licensing in Florida each year, FACTS estimates that to be the loss of about $15 million per year in free money to otherwise eligible massage students in Florida.