Title IX Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Title IX?
Title IX (20 U.S.C. Sec 1681, et seq.) is part of the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities at all levels.  It states, "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."


Who is covered by Title IX?
Any educational institution receiving federal financial assistance, whether for one program or all programs, is covered by Title IX.  If any part of a college or school district receives any federal funds for any purpose, all of the operations of the college or district are covered by Title IX.    


Who enforces Title IX?
Title IX is enforced by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within the United States Department of Education to ensure that institutions that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education comply with the law.


What types of sex-based harassment does Title IX prohibit?
"Title IX prohibits several types of sex-based harassment.  Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, such as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.  Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment and refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (e.g., due to the student's age or use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the student from having the capacity to give consent).  A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion.  Gender-based harassment is another form of sex-based harassment and refers to unwelcome conduct based on an individual's actual or perceived sex, including harassment based on gender identity or nonconformity with sex stereotypes, and not necessarily involving conduct of a sexual nature.  All of these types of sex-based harassment are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX."  (Source: Title IX Resource Guide, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, April 2015.)


What happens if an institution does not comply with Title IX?
An educational institution that fails to comply with Title IX risks the penalty of termination of all or part of the institution's federal funding.  Federal funding includes grants, subsidies, and other program funding.  Title IX compliance is the responsibility of all members of the institution, including administrators, faculty, staff, students, and contractors.