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COMPLIANCE CHECKLIST

By Eddie Holmes,2014-06-29 09:00
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COMPLIANCE CHECKLIST ...

    University of Vermont General Counsel’s Office Compliance Checklist for the Higher Education Opportunity Act

    (based on the American Council on Education’s August 2008 Memorandum “Summary of Higher Education Act

    Reauthorization”)

    NACUA thanks the University of Vermont General Counsel’s Office for permitting distribution of this memorandum to virtual seminar participants.

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    1COMPLIANCE CHECKLIST:

    HIGHER EDUCATION ACT REAUTHORIZATION

    TOPIC SUMMARY OFFICIAL OGC CONTACT ACTION/Status

     COLLEGE COSTS

    ED will publish lists for Affordability and

    each of 9 institutional transparency lists

    categories naming top 5

    institutions in certain 2aspects of cost

    ED will annually publish State higher education

    state-by-state information spending chart

    re: trends in state higher

    education spending and

    tuition, fees, and financial

    aid for students at state

    institutions

    ED to develop a “net price Net price calculator

    calculator” designed to

    provide students and

    families with

    individualized estimate of

    net price of specific 3institutions

     1 Derived from ACE Analysis of Higher Education Act Reauthorization (August 2008). 2 The cost aspects are (1) highest tuition and fees; (2) highest “net price”; (3) largest % increase in tuition and fees; and (4) largest % increase in net price. Institutions with large % increases in tuition or fees or net price will be required to submit reports to ED providing reasons and identifying steps to reduce costs. ED will issue annual report and post the respondent institutions’ reports on the web. The Higher Education Act Reauthorization (“HEAR”) defines net price as “average yearly price actually charged to a first-time, full-time undergraduate student receiving student aid … after deducting such aid.” Net price is

    determined by subtracting the average amount of need-based aid provided per aided student from cost of attendance. 3 With two years after this tool becomes available, each institution must post a net price calculator on its own website.

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    TOPIC SUMMARY OFFICIAL OGC CONTACT ACTION/Status

     COLLEGE COSTS

    ED will be posting 27 Consumer information 4categories of information

    about each institution

    participating in Title IV

    programs, including cost.

    ED will develop and post Multi-Year Tuition

    on the web a “multi-year Calculator

    tuition calculator”

    intended to help students

    and families estimate the

    tuition they may pay to

    attend particular

    institutions in future years,

    as well as to compare

    estimates for multiple

    institutions

    “Maintenance of effort” State commitments 5requirement for States,

    violation of which would

    result in ED withholding

    grant monies provided

    under the College Access

    Challenge Grant program

     4 Information will include mission; statistics on applications, admission, enrollment, SAT/ACT scores; transfer students; M/F; in-state/out-of-state;

    race/ethnicity/disability; degrees awarded; time to completion degrees; faculty; cost of attendance and financial aid; alternative tuition plans; campus safety. 5 For academic years beginning on and after July 1, 2008, each state must maintain a level of expenditure equal to (1) for public colleges and universities, the

    average amount provided for non-capital and non-research and development expenses in the five most recent academic years and (2) for private colleges and

    universities, the average amount provided for student financial aid in the five most recent academic years.

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    TOPIC SUMMARY OFFICIAL OGC CONTACT ACTION/Status

    ACCREDITATION Institutions set their own Student achievement standards and measures

    consistent with their

    mission and within

    framework of

    accreditation standards

    HEAR sets process due for Due process adverse action by

    accreditors

    ED will not require Distance education accreditors to have

    separate standards,

    policies or procedures for 6distance education

    HEAR requires accreditors Respect for mission to apply standards that

    respect the stated mission

    of institutions, including

    religious missions

    Accreditors must make Transparency in publicly available a accreditation

    summary of their actions

    and affected institution’s

    official comments

    HEAR restructures NCIQI, National Committee on which advises ED on Institutional Quality and

    recognition of accreditors Integrity and related matters

     6 Accreditors must, however, require institutions that offer distance education to establish that a student registered for a distance education course is the

    same student who completes and receives credit for it.

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    TOPIC SUMMARY OFFICIAL OGC CONTACT ACTION/Status ACCREDITATION

    HEAR defines mills and will Diploma mills

    engage in consumer

    protection 7 FINANCIAL AID

    Increases annual Pell Grant program

    authorized max award

    levels and makes several 8program changes

    HEAR has several Veterans

    provisions designed to

    assist veterans and their

    families with access to

    postsecondary education

    PLUS Loan deferment HEAR allows graduate

    students to receive an in-

    school deferment on their 9PLUS loans.

    Financial aid application HEAR seeks to make

    financial aid application process

    processes and forms more

    user-friendly for students 10and parents

     7 Federal student aid programs were revised extensively in the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. Although Title IV programs were not the primary focus of HEAR, it contains a wide array of federal student aid provisions. 8 For example, students will be eligible to receive Pell Grants on a year-round basis to foster persistence and reduce time-to-degree; the minimum award is set at 10 percent of the actual annual maximum award; eligibility is limited to 18 semesters or the equivalent; and students who lose a parent to combat in Iraq or Afghanistan are eligible for a maximum Pell Grant. 9 The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 gave parent borrowers this authority. 10 For example, it calls for fewer, more understandable questions on FAFSA, requires ED to develop a model format for institutional financial aid offer forms that institutions provide to applicants, and directs ED to develop a system through which students can receive early estimates of the amount of aid they might be eligible to receive.

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    TOPIC SUMMARY OFFICIAL OGC CONTACT ACTION/Status

    FINANCIAL AID Effective July 1, 2010, Dual enrollment HEAR permits higher

    education institutions to

    admit as regular students

    persons who will be dually

    or concurrently enrolled in

    the institution and a

    secondary school

    HEAR forbids Unit record database “development, prohibited

    implementation, or

    maintenance of a federal

    database of personally

    identifiable information”

    regarding persons who

    receive assistance under

    HEA, attend institutions

    that receive assistance

    under HEA, or are

    “otherwise involved in any

    [HEA] studies or other

    collections of data

    HEAR gives flexibility to Intellectual disabilities waive certain Title IV

    eligibility criteria to make

    students with cognitive

    disabilities eligible for

    grants

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    TOPIC SUMMARY OFFICIAL OGC CONTACT ACTION/Status Disclosures and Compliance

    HEAR expands reporting Campus safety

    requirements under the 11Clery Act

    HEAR contains several Peer-to-peer file sharing

    copyright-related 12requirements

    HEAR requires institutions Fire Safety

    with on-campus housing

    to publish annually a fire

    safety report that provides 13dorm-by-dorm stats.

    Effective July 1, 2010, Textbook cost

    institutions will be containment

    required to disclose in

    course schedules the ISBN

    of textbooks and

    supplemental materials

    and retail price

     11 These include (1) reports of written agreements between a higher education institution and state and local law enforcement agencies; (2) a statement on the institution’s policies regarding immediate emergency response and campus evacuation procedures; and (3) notification to campus immediately upon confirmation of a significant emergency, unless issuing the notification will compromise efforts to contain the emergency. 12 Institutions will be required to disseminate an annual disclosure to students that (1) states that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, such as through peer-to-peer networks, may subject students to civil and criminal penalties; (2) describes the penalties for such violations; and (3) includes the institution’s policies on peer-to-peer file sharing. Institutions must also develop a plan to combat unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. In

    developing the plan, institutions must consider technology-based deterrents. Report language accompanying the law explicitly states that technology-based deterrents include “bandwidth shaping” and “traffic monitoring to identify the largest bandwidth users.” Institutions must also offer, “to the extent practicable” and in consultation with the chief information officer, alternatives to illegal downloading. 13 The report, which is to be shared with the campus community and the ED Secretary, must detail information such as the number of fires, deaths, injuries, fire drills, fire-related property damage, and the type of fire detection systems in each building.

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    TOPIC SUMMARY OFFICIAL OGC CONTACT ACTION/Status

    Disclosures and

    Compliance

    Institutions that Missing Persons participate in any federal

    higher education

    programs and maintain

    on-campus housing must

    establish a missing

    student notification policy

    for students who reside in

    on-campus housing and

    have been determined

    after an investigation by

    campus security officials

    to be missing for 24 hours

    HEAR contains general Protection student “sense of Congress” speech and association provision supporting open rights exchange of ideas and discouraging intimidation, harassment, discrimination and chilling of student speech. HEAR

     also expresses the sense

     of Congress that

     “students should be

    treated equally and fairly.”

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    TOPIC SUMMARY OFFICIAL OGC CONTACT ACTION/Status Disclosures and Compliance

    Institutions may not use Lobbying

    HEA funds to pay anyone

    for influencing or

    attempting to influence

    officers or employees of

    any agency, members of

    Congress or congressional

    employees with respect

    to specified types of

    federal actions, such as

    federal contract awards

    and federal grants. It also

    bars use of federal

    student aid funds to hire

    a registered lobbyist or

    pay anyone to secure an

    earmark. Institutions are

    required to annually

    certify compliance with

    these restrictions

    Higher education Transfer of Credit

    institution must disclose

    publicly its transfer of 14credit policies

     14 This requirement includes criteria related to transfer of credit earned elsewhere. As part of accreditation reviews, accreditors must confirm that the institution complies with this requirement. ED must include on its website a link to an institution’s website that provides transfer of credit policies. Neither ED

    nor NACIQI is authorized to require particular policies, procedures or practices on transfer of credit. HEAR clarifies that the disclosure requirement creates no legal right to require an institution to accept a transfer of credit.

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    TOPIC SUMMARY OFFICIAL OGC CONTACT ACTION/Status

     Student Loan “Sunshine” Provisions

    Feds will now regulate

    private educational

    lending as well as federal 15student loans. HEAR

    requires that all

    institutions participating

    in federal loans programs

    or that have entered into

    preferred lender

    arrangement develop a

    code of conduct covering

    wide range of proscribed

    items. Institution must

    post code prominently on

    its website and annually

    notify specified cohorts of

    its contents.

     15 Although HEAR takes precedence over ED regulations relating to preferred lender lists and prohibited inducements that went into effect on July 1, 2008, ED will need to reconcile the new statutory requirements with its new rules through the negotiated rulemaking process. HEAR does not expressly preempt state laws in the area of student lending ethics; thus, institutions in states with pertinent statutes or regulations may need to comply with state as well as federal requirements.

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