Presentation on theme: "Aaron D. Lacey Thompson Coburn LLP. INTRODUCTION Thompson Coburn LLP Full-service firm with 375+ attorneys Offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis,"— Presentation transcript:
INTRODUCTION Thompson Coburn LLP Full-service firm with 375+ attorneys Offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Southern Illinois, and Washington, D.C. Higher Education Practice Counsel clients concerning federal, state, and accrediting agency laws and standards, to include federal financial aid programs and consumer information. Represent institutions in litigation, as well as administrative proceedings before state licensing entities, accrediting agencies, and federal government. Assist clients with the postsecondary mergers and acquisitions, contract drafting and negotiation, policy creation and implementation, and compliance systems design.
INTRODUCTION Aaron D. Lacey Partner, Higher Education Practice Served four years as Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Strategic Development for a multi-campus, postsecondary education company, with 24 campus locations and online division. Prior to going in-house, served eight years in the postsecondary education practice of prominent Washington, D.C. law firm.
PRESENTATION OUTLINE General CI Strategy CI Resources, CI Systems, Housing CI, Tracking CI, Disclosing CI Strategy for Select CI Disclosures Net Price Calculator, Annual Security Reports, Drug and Alcohol Prevention Information, Student-Right- to-Know, Voter Registration, FERPA, Gainful Employment Disclosures
CI RESOURCES IFAP Consumer Information Page CI Disclosures at a Glance (31 Pages; last updated April 2014) 11 Training Activities (last updated 2012-2014) Institutional and Financial Assistance Information, Drug and Alcohol Prevention, Consumer Information for Student Athletes Student Right-to-Know Act, Campus Security, FERPA, Safeguarding Customer Information, Fire Safety Reports and Student Housing, Misrepresentation, Loan Disclosures, Gainful Employment Disclosures http://ifap.ed.gov/qahome/qaassessments/consu merinformation.html
CI RESOURCES Higher Education Compliance Alliance Created by the National Association of College and University Attorneys in partnership with thirty other higher education associations, provides centralized repository of information and resources for compliance with federal laws and regulations. Includes Resources by Topic and Compliance Matrix http://www.higheredcompliance.org
CI RESOURCES Campus Legal Information Clearinghouse Collaborative effort between American Council on Education and The Catholic University of America's Office of General Counsel. Resources by Topic http://counsel.cua.edu
CI RESOURCES REGucation Blog offering practical advice and insight to assist postsecondary community to manage regulatory environment. Focus includes universe of disclosure, reporting, and training requirements associated with participation in the federal student aid programs. http://thompsoncoburn.com/news-and- information/regucation.aspx
CI SYSTEMS Consumer information is an institutional responsibility; key data are controlled and produced by a wide range of individuals within the organization. Create systems designed (1) to direct to your attention information or correspondence relating to your CI responsibilities and (2) to facilitate coordination among campuses and administrative verticals.
CI SYSTEMS Put into place a Regulatory Correspondence Policy – Requires that all substantive correspondence to/from regulators be copied to those responsible for CI Create and use CI flow charts
HOUSING CI Build a Resource Library – Compliance Calendar – Official Correspondence – Unofficial Correspondence – Current and Past CI Disclosures – Flow Charts and Evidence of CI Distribution – Laws and Regulations – Agency Guidance – Agency Tutorials and Training
DISCLOSING CI Build a CI Website – Post everything! Well, almost everything... – Holds all CI for all brands, unless prohibited, or bad for business – Easier for students and regulators – Easier for staff – Facilitates Notice and Distribution – Mitigates exposure to student litigation
DRAFTING CI If possible, makes notices and disclosures location, time, and brand neutral Include revision date Consider including annual distribution date if annual distribution required Place on company or school letterhead Include statement regarding consistency between oral statements and written disclosure Take advantage of opportunity to offer explanatory comments
STRATEGIES FOR SELECT CONSUMER INFORMATION DISCLOSURES
Requirement: Must post net price calculator on website and include prominent disclaimer: – Stating estimate is not final, is not binding, and may change; – Stating that student must complete FAFSA to be eligible for FSA funds; and – Providing link to USED FAFSA website. FEBRUARY: NET PRICE CALCULATOR
Timing: Must update NPC on an annual basis. USED releases updated versions of NPC template in January annually (e.g., template for 2013-14 data will be released in January 2015). Institutions using USED NPC template should update their NPC shortly thereafter.
FEBRUARY: NET PRICE CALCULATOR Strategy: Use USED template; create CI flow chart; place link to NPC on CI Website. Citation: 20 U.S.C. 1015a(a); 20 U.S.C. 1015a(h); DCL GEN 08-12, page 33. Key Resource: http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/resource/net_price _calculator.asp
MARCH: ANNUAL SECURITY REPORTS Requirement: Each year, must (1) distribute to all students and employees Annual Security Report, to include crime statistics for incidents that occur on campus (2) report crime statistics to Department, and (3) if applicable, compile and distribute annual fire safety report. Prospective students and prospective employees must receive notice of report and receive report upon request.
MARCH: ANNUAL SECURITY REPORTS Timing: Updated ASR and crime statistics must be published by October 1. Gathering crime statistics is most challenging piece, start early to permit time for agencies, campuses, and security personnel to respond.
MARCH: ANNUAL SECURITY REPORTS Strategy: Ensure agency letter is detailed; use USED templates; keep copies of all correspondence; track correspondence and completion of tasks; post ASR to CI Website and distribute notice to new students and employees and annually to all; ensure notice satisfies specific requirements. Citation: 34 CFR 668.41(a); 34 CFR 668.41(e); 34 CFR 668.46; 34 CFR Part 668 Subpart D, Appendix A. Key Resource: http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/campus.html; http://clerycenter.org.
LAGNIAPPE: VAWA In March 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) amended Clery Act requiring schools (1) to compile statistics concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking; and (2) to adopt policies, procedures, and programs pertaining to these crimes in their ASR. Under VAWA, 2014 ASR should have included new policies, as well as new statistics for 2013 (best effort). New statistics for 2013 and 2014 will be reported in 2015 ASR. New regulations issued October 20, 2014. Review carefully - they go well beyond VAWA!
APRIL: DRUG & ALCOHOL ABUSE PROGRAM Requirement: Must institute drug and alcohol abuse program, consisting of at least two parts: 1. Annually distribute in writing to each student and employee: Standards of conduct that clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on the school’s property or as part of any of the school’s activities Description of applicable legal sanctions under state, local, and federal law Description of health risks Description of available counseling, treatment, rehabilitation, or re-entry programs Clear statement that school will impose sanctions for violation of standards of conduct and a description of sanctions Students who enroll or employees who are hired after the annual distribution must receive the information.
APRIL: DRUG & ALCOHOL ABUSE PROGRAM 2. Conduct biennial review of school’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse program that: Determines the effectiveness of the program and implements needed changes Determines the number of drug and alcohol-related violations and fatalities that occur on the school’s campus or as part of the school’s activities, and are presorted to campus officials Determines the number and type of sanctions that are imposed Ensures that sanctions are consistently enforced Biennial review is available to public upon request.
APRIL: DRUG & ALCOHOL ABUSE PROGRAM Timing: Flexible, can be carried out at any point during year. Strategy: Distribute annually to every student and employee and supply to all new students and employees upon arrival; have students and employees sign evidence of receipt; save annual distribution notices and record results of biennial review; post info to CI Website; ensure policies match ASR.
APRIL: DRUG & ALCOHOL ABUSE PROGRAM Citation: 34 CFR 86 Key Resource: http://ifap.ed.gov/qahome/qaassessments/c onsumerinformation.html
LAGNIAPPE: FSA PENALTIES FOR DRUG VIOLATIONS Effective August 14, 2008, must provide to every student upon enrollment a separate, clear, and conspicuous written notice with information on the FSA Penalties for drug law violations detailed in 20 U.S.C. 1091(r)(1). Also, to any student who has lost FA eligibility due to drug law violations, must provide separate, clear, conspicuous written notice of the loss and advise of ways to regain eligibility under 20 U.S.C. 1091(r)(2). See 34 CFR 668.40; DCL GEN 08-12, pages 101 through 102.
LAGNIAPPE: FSA PENALTIES FOR DRUG VIOLATIONS Prepare separate, one-page notice with signature block, provide with Drug and Alcohol Abuse Program disclosure; save annual distribution notice; post info to CI Website.
MAY 1: EMERGENCY SYSTEM TEST Requirement: Must develop and test emergency response and evacuation procedures on at least an annual basis. Timing: May 1 - because its May Day! Strategy: Record evidence that test was conducted; remember that this is not just a compliance exercise; consider third-party providers.
MAY 1: EMERGENCY SYSTEM TEST Citation: 34 CFR 668.46(g)(6). Key Resources: http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/ca mpus.html; http://clerycenter.org.
JUNE: STUDENT-RIGHT-TO-KNOW Requirement: Must annually make available completion/graduation rate and, if applicable, transfer-out rate; must circulate detailed notice of availability. Timing: Annual notice can be made at any time, but must publish most recent SR2K data by July 1 of each year; data reported annually in IPEDS Graduation Rate Survey (closed February 26 in 2014).
JUNE: STUDENT-RIGHT-TO-KNOW Strategy: Old model disclosure no longer sufficient; leave time to produce disaggregated data; make sure disclosure explains data; post data to CI Website and circulate detailed notice; keep record of notice distribution. Citation: 34 CFR 668.41(a) - (d); 34 CFR 668.45; 34 CFR 668.8(b)(1)(ii) Key Resource: http://ifap.ed.gov/qahome/qaassessments/cons umerinformation.html
LAGNIAPPE: RETENTION RATES Must make available the retention rate of certificate or degree seeking, first-time, undergraduate students; must circulate detailed notice of availability. 34 CFR 668.41(d)(3). Include with SR2K disclosure; Data reported in IPEDS Fall Enrollments Survey (closed April 23 in 2014); will be available for easy inclusion. Make sure disclosure explains data; post data to CI Website and circulate detailed notice; keep record of notice distribution.
AUGUST: VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION Requirement: Make good faith effort to distribute voter registration form (for federal elections and state elections for governor or other State chief executive) to every student. Will be considered in compliance if electronically distribute voter registration form (can provide link where form can be downloaded). Electronic message must be devoted exclusively to voter registration. Timing: Quarterly distribution best. But in the least, must be sufficiently in advance of November elections.
AUGUST: VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION Strategy: Provide quarterly notice to all students (and employees) via email with link to registration form on state site; discuss importance of voting, set out state and federal election calendar; keep record of distribution notice; post information to CI Website. Citation: 20 USC 1094(a)(23) and DCL GEN 08-12. Key Resource: U.S. Election Assistance Commission at http://www.eac.gov/voter_resources/register_to_vot e.aspx
NOVEMBER: ANNUAL FERPA NOTICE Requirement: Must annually provide notice to all students about: Right to review educational records, request amendment of records, consent to disclosures or personally identifiable information, and file complaints with USED; Procedures for reviewing educational records and requesting amendment of records; and Policy regarding disclosures to school officials with legitimate educational interest in educational records.
NOVEMBER: ANNUAL FERPA NOTICE Timing: Flexible, can be carried out at any point during year. Strategy: Make sure all required elements included; use model forms; distribute via email and post to CI Website; keep record of notice distribution. Citation: 34 CFR 668.41(c) and 34 CFR Part 99. Key Resource: Family Policy Compliance Office at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html
LAGNIAPPE: FERPA DIRECTORY INFORMATION To disclose directory information without prior consent, must provide students notice of directory information that include ( 1) types of information school has designated as directory information; and (2) student’s right to refuse use of directory information; and (3) time period student has for notifying school in writing. 34 CFR 99.37. In addition to including with annual FERPA notice, post directory information notice on CI Website and put it in your application for admission.
DECEMBER: UPDATE GE DISCLOSURE TEMPLATES Requirement: For each GE program, must disclose in promotional materials mentioning program and on school website: Department of Labor SOC Code(s) related to program CIP Code with links to O*NET occupational profiles; On-time graduation rate; Tuition and fees (normal time); Typical costs for books and supplies, and room and board, if applicable; Job placement rate (fed formula never developed, so only if you calculate state/accreditor rates); and Median loan debt incurred by students who completed the program (separately by Title IV loans, private loans, and institutional debt).
DECEMBER: UPDATE GE DISCLOSURE TEMPLATES Timing: Effective January 31, 2014, institutions must use Gainful Employment Disclosure Template (GEDT) to create webpage containing the required disclosure information for each GE program. Institutions expected to update GE disclosure information at least annually.
DECEMBER: UPDATE GE DISCLOSURE TEMPLATES Strategy: Update cost and fee data in real-time to mitigate exposure to misrepresentation claims; for same reason, consider updating on- time graduation rates and median loan info each year after June 30, and outcomes after annual report go in; otherwise update everything in December; create CI flow chart. Citation: 34 CFR 668.6(b) Key Resource: IFAP GE Page: http://ifap.ed.gov/GainfulEmploymentInfo/
LAGNIAPPE: PROPOSED GE DISCLOSURE CHANGES Proposed changes would expand the amount of information that “may” be required to be disclosed; With limited exception, disclosures would be made only for students who received federal financial aid funds; Disclosures could be required to be disaggregated by whether student completed the program; USED could change the required disclosures from year to year;
LAGNIAPPE: PROPOSED GE DISCLOSURE CHANGES Still would require update at least annually; Continued option to disclose separate templates for each location or form of GE program if leads to clearer information for students (GE Electronic Announcement # 25 (September 28, 2011)); and Would require hardcopy GEDT disclosure to any prospective student.
LAGNIAPPE: PROPOSED GE DISCLOSURE CHANGES Would include calculation of additional rates (most would be calculated by USED using reported information): – Four completion rates per GE program; two based on full-time enrollment on first day, and two based on part-time enrollment on first day. – Two withdrawal rates per GE program; the percentage who withdrew within normal time, and the percentage who withdrew within 150 percent. – A borrower based repayment rate for borrowers with FFEL or Direct Loans for enrollment in a GE program.
LAGNIAPPE: PROPOSED GE DISCLOSURE CHANGES First set of expanded disclosures (for results of AY 2014-15 and including disclosures based on information that USED must provide) “likely” required by January 2016.
CONTACT INFORMATION Aaron D. Lacey Partner, Higher Education Education Practice Thompson Coburn LLP firstname.lastname@example.org 314-552-6405
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