News & Analysis as of

Financial Aid

Inside the Stanford Breach: Exposed Records Lead to Financial Aid Scandal

A cybersecurity vulnerability at Stanford University exposed thousands of sensitive files containing details of sexual assault investigations and disciplinary actions. The story of what happened—and why it should be an object...more

Blog: Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: After 60 Years, Looking at What Still Works – Or Not

by Cooley LLP on

The Higher Education Act (HEA), the foundation law for the financing of American higher education, was enacted in 1965, when telephones still had dials and computers filled large rooms. It last was reauthorized in 2008, when...more

Financial Aid Fraud and FCA Litigation: Court Addresses Notice Requirement for “Fraud Alert” Employees and Relevance of College...

A recent decision allowing a False Claims Act claim against a community college to proceed to discovery highlights two issues relating to the requisite degree of employer knowledge that must be plead in retaliation claims by...more

U.S. Department of Education Announces Further Delays to Borrower Defense to Repayment Regulations

by Hogan Lovells on

On October 24, the U.S. Department of Education (“ED”) published an interim final rule to delay until July 1, 2018 the effective date of selected provisions of what have become known as the borrower defense to repayment...more

Blog: ED’s New Audit Guide – 90/10 Compliance

by Cooley LLP on

As with many other areas of financial aid management discussed in our prior posts, the audit requirements relating to compliance with the “90/10 Rule” have increased significantly in ED’s new Audit Guide. These new...more

Blog: New ED Audit Guide Updates Requirements Concerning Third-Party Servicers

by Cooley LLP on

As discussed in our previous posts, the Department of Education’s new Audit Guide establishes new audit requirements applicable to for-profit schools and to compliance audits of third-party servicers that administer “any...more

Blog: California BPPE Announces Changes to the Student Tuition Recovery Fund

by Cooley LLP on

The California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education recently published amended regulations governing the Student Tuition Recovery Fund effective as of August 10, 2017. The changes will impact institutions approved to...more

Blog: Increased Student Samples, Student Confirmations and Site Visits Mean Expanded Audits Under ED’s New Audit Guide

by Cooley LLP on

As described in our previous posts about ED’s new Audit Guide for annual Title IV compliance audits, the new auditing requirements include expanded testing in many compliance areas, such as gainful employment, incentive...more

Medical Marijuana on Campus: Barbuto's Impact on School Policies Banning Drug Use

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC that an employee's use of medical marijuana to treat a qualified disability may be a reasonable accommodation under...more

Blog: Department of Education’s Announcement Leaves Unanswered Questions Regarding Coming Gainful Employment Rule Deadline

by Cooley LLP on

The Department of Education’s (ED) announcement that it plans to engage in a new negotiated rulemaking to revise the Gainful Employment (GE) Rule leaves unanswered critical questions regarding the implementation of certain GE...more

Blog: As the Department of Education Revisits the Gainful Employment Rule California Legislators Propose a State Alternative

by Cooley LLP on

With continued questions about the Trump Administration’s commitment to Obama-era regulations, including the Gainful Employment (GE) Rule, one state is ready to jump into the fray and offer its own state-based alternative to...more

Congress Eliminates Obama-Era Regulations on Teacher Preparation Programs

by Hogan Lovells on

President Trump signed into law on March 27 a joint resolution to nullify U.S. Department of Education (ED) regulations relating to teacher preparation programs pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (CRA). As noted in its...more

Blog: New Department of Education Accreditation Database: A Promising Start, But Clearly a Work in Progress

by Cooley LLP on

The Department of Education (ED) has launched a new online database intended to provide current and prospective students, as well as the broader community, with current information on the accreditation status of institutions...more

IRS is Hacked, Again!

The New York Times reported yesterday that identity thieves may have compromised up to 100,000 U.S. taxpayer accounts. The criminals apparently took advantage of a software tool that loaded information from tax returns onto...more

[Webinar] New Audit Guidelines for Higher Educational Institutions - February 1st, 11:00am CT

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

On Wednesday, February 1, Mike Wherry, a CPA with 25 years of experience in the public sector to postsecondary schools will join Aaron Lacey in presenting a webinar focusing on the four main changes that were issued in the...more

Alert: ACICS Files Suit to Overturn Loss of Recognition

by Cooley LLP on

On December 12, 2016, US Secretary of Education John King issued his final – and expected – decision denying the appeal filed by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools ("ACICS") and terminated its status...more

D.C. Circuit to hold Feb. 2 argument on CFPB authority to issue CID to college accrediting organization

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

The D.C. Circuit will hear oral argument on February 2, 2017 on the CFPB’s appeal from the D.C. federal district court’s April 2016 ruling that the CFPB exceeded its statutory authority when it issued a CID to the Accrediting...more

Potential split emerges regarding the proper interpretation of the Supreme Court’s decision in Escobar

by Dentons on

As we previously reported, the Supreme Court’s decision in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 1989 (2016), appears clear in its holdings that: (1) implied certification may support...more

Alert: ED Seeks Further Compliance with Third-Party Servicer Rules

by Cooley LLP on

On August 18, 2016, the US Department of Education (ED or the Department) issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) providing additional guidance on issues related to the requirements for third parties that provide financial aid...more

Fostering Financial Aid Literacy in Students: H.R. 3179

This is the sixth and final installment in a series examining five bipartisan bills advanced by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on June 22, 2016 and approved by the full House of Representatives on July 11,...more

Fear No FAFSA: H.R. 5528

This is the second installment in a series examining five bipartisan bills advanced by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on June 22, 2016. The original post summarizing all five bills was posted in Education...more

FY2017 Massachusetts Budget Update: The Senate Budget

The Massachusetts Senate voted unanimously to pass its FY2017 state budget just before midnight on Thursday, May 26. The spending plan, which totals $39.558 billion, spends $60 million more than Governor Baker’s proposal and...more

Congress Inquires About College and University Endowments

by Morgan Lewis on

US House Committee on Ways and Means and US Senate Committee on Finance issue joint letter to colleges and universities with endowments greater than $1 billion. On February 8, the US Senate Committee on Finance and the...more

The nuts and bolts of HEA Reauthorization

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

As most in higher education are aware, Congress presently is working to reauthorize the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.), the seminal legislation that created and governs the administration of...more

Education Department Reverses Course on Prohibition Against Incentive Compensation Based on Retention and Graduation; Clears Way...

On November 27, 2015, the United States Department of Education announced a reversal of its previously existing prohibition against the payment of incentive compensation based on students’ program completion or graduation...more

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