I think the wording does matter. If it specified federal government then you definitely could only use the federal government. As it is now, you could make the argument for state actors. However, I would argue that all states would have to make the same change. Since it specifies United States as a whole, you can have just NE making a change in policy. At the same time you could still legitimately make the argument for only having fiat over the federal government.
I think regardless if 'US' refers to the federal or state level, it's difficult for a policy initiated by one state to be significant. Possible, but really hard.
So more agents?
Since it's just "the United States," I could see a case being made with the agent being some national accreditation organization (they aren't public
, but they ostensibly decide the policy of most US schools of higher education).
"The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits"
- G.K. Chesterton