Tony Guida focuses his practice on the PreK-12, postsecondary and corporate training education sectors handling issues relating to federal and state education  law, licensing and accreditation, mergers, acquisitions and other substantive changes; government response and crisis management, federal and state education policy; and government affairs. An experienced senior executive in the field of higher education, Mr. Guida bring a unique business side perspective to his engagement with clients.

Mr. Guida has previously served in senior executive positions with two major publicly traded companies that owned and operated colleges and universities on multiple platforms, where his responsibilities included regulatory affairs and compliance, acquisitions and divestitures, government and public affairs, policy, strategic planning, new campus development, and public relations. He has also served as CFO and general counsel for a small proprietary college. Prior to joining the higher education industry more than 15 years ago, Tony was a partner in the litigation section of a large regional law firm.

Mr. Guida currently serves on the Board of Trustees of a private non-profit university, is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), and previously served on the Board of Directors of a national trade association representing proprietary institutions. He has previously served on the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, which was created by Congress to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to Congress and the Secretary of Education on student financial aid policy.

Mr. Guida is a frequent speaker at symposia and conferences on issues relating to regulatory compliance, government enforcement actions, higher education mergers, acquisitions, and other transactions and substantive changes, licensing and accreditation, and federal and state higher education policy.

Mr. Guida is a 1986 graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where he was Student Articles Editor of the Law Review, and a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Dayton.  

Areas of Practice

  • Licensure and Accreditation
  • Federal and State Education Law
  • Education Sector Transactions
  • Government Response and Crisis Management
  • Online Education
  • Federal and State Education Policy and Government Affairs

Representative Matters

  • Negotiated and closed ten acquisitions of accredited colleges for a publicly traded higher education holding company with transaction values ranging from $2.6 million to $119 million and totaling $216 million.
  • Negotiated an emergency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and a subsequent Operating Agreement with the U.S. Department of Education for a publicly traded higher education holding company that provided the mechanism for an orderly transition and sale of the company's accredited colleges enrolling more than 70,000 students.
  • Led the effort to obtain more than 700 approvals by more than 120 federal, state, accreditation and other approval agencies for a $3.4 billion going private transaction of a publicly traded company, and for its subsequent $335 million IPO.
  • Obtained regulatory approvals for the move of a 19 campus graduate level institution from one regional accreditor to another regional accreditor and the subsequent merger of four related institutions with nine campuses into that institution.
  • Counseled on the initial regional accreditation of a nationally accredited institution with more than 12,000 students that had its prior request for initial accreditation denied.
  • Negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a regional accreditor to facilitate the merger of over 15 institutions into a single institution.
  • Counseled and defended a regionally accredited institution faced with being placed on probation that resulted in a less severe sanction of being placed "on notice."
  • Led a $44 million sale of a college with annual revenues of $26 million.
  • Designed and obtained the regulatory approvals for multiple mergers of related company accredited institutions.
  • Oversaw the state licensing and accreditation approval processes for nine new branch locations of accredited institutions.
  • Represented a proprietary school in the development of a 150-acre campus, including the creation of a special zoning district for such use.
  • Litigated removal of a "lis pendens" (restriction on right of title) filed by a general partner that was preventing closing on a $17 million construction loan.


  • California
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 2014-present
  • Corinthian Colleges, Inc.
    - Executive Vice President, External Affairs, 2014
  • Education Management Corporation
    - Senior Vice President, External Affairs, 2002-2014
  • Pennsylvania Culinary Institute
    - General Counsel and CFO, 1999-2001
  • Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
    - Shareholder, 1986-1999

Board Memberships

  • Trustee, Oral Roberts University
  • Board of Directors, Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU), 2005-11, 2012-15

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "Embracing Change," CECU Annual Convention, Orlando, Florida, June 5, 2018

  • Speaker, "The New Regulatory and Legal Enforcement Regime: The First Six Months Of The Trump Administration And A Look Forward At Regulatory Enforcement and Legal Actions," Career Education Colleges & Universities Convention, Las Vegas, June 8, 2017
  • Speaker, "Achieving More Informed, Efficient, and Effective Regulatory Relationships Across your Organization," Career Education Colleges & Universities Convention, Las Vegas, June 6, 2017
  • "The Emerging and Increased Risks in the Federal and State Legislative and Regulatory Environments," Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA, 2016
  • "The Intersection of Public Policy, Law and Business," Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU), Annual Convention and Exposition, Orlando, FL 2016
  • "Operating in a Post-GE Environment," Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) Biannual Meeting, San Diego, CA, 2016
  • "A Guide for Operating in a Post-GE Environment — Ready or Not, Here it Comes!," Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU), Webinar, 2016
  • "Higher Education Redesign: The Intersection of Public Policy, Law and Business," Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU), 2016
  • "The U.S. Department of Education: Outcomes, Accountability, and Accreditation," CHEA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., 2016
  • "Understanding Today's Legal Challenges," APSCU Leadership Summit, Phoenix, AZ 2015
  • "Gainful Employment Rule Compliance: Steps and Strategies for Finding Your Way Forward," Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators (PAPSA), Webinar 2015
  • "Government Regulators & New Theories of Liability: Threat, Menace, or Much Ado About Nothing?," APSCU Annual Convention and Exposition: Outcomes 2025, Denver, CO, 2015
  • "The Future of the For-Profit Higher Education Sector," Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., 2015
  • "How 'Gainful Employment' Fits in the Toolbox for Measuring Institutional Effectiveness," ACICS Annual Meeting, New Orleans, 2014
  • Hill Day Briefing, Annual Hill Day, Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, Washington, D.C., 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • "Private Equity Investing in For-Profit Education Companies," Capital Roundtable, New York City, 2013
  • "Higher Education Policy," APSCU Higher Education Symposium, Washington, D.C., 2011
  • "A Critique of the Obama Administration's New Gainful Employment Rules," Symposium: "Understanding Education in the United States and Its Legal and Social Implications," University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, 2011
  • "The Gainful Employment Rule," Public Affairs Conference, National Restaurant Association, Washington, D.C., 2011
  • "Living in a Hyper-Regulated World," APSCU Higher Education Symposium, Washington, D.C., 2010
  • "Going Public," Higher Education Investment Conference, Washington, D.C., 2009
  • "HEA: What the New Law Means for Career Colleges," Higher Education Investment Conference, Washington, D.C., 2008
  • "Transactions With Not-for-Profit Schools," Higher Education Investment Conference, Washington, D.C., 2007
  • "Online Education: Emerging Licensing and Accreditation Issues," Career Colleges Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, 2007
  • "Mergers & Acquisitions," Mid-Atlantic Conference Regions I, II and II Private Career Colleges & Schools Workshop, Philadelphia, 2004 and 2005
  • "Mergers & Acquisitions," Pittsburgh Chapter of Association for Corporate Growth, Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, 2004
  • "Mergers & Acquisitions," Career Colleges Association Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, 2003