Educational institutions should be aware of fraudulent request for payments from vendors. The FBI Boston Division identified three incidents over the past month where perpetrators submitted fraudulent transfer authorization forms to divert payments to Boston area colleges and universities.  The perpetrators portrayed themselves as construction companies and sent emails/letters with instructions requesting payments to be made by wire to a bank account.  The requests typically look like they are from a contractor or vendor providing services.  They simulate the logo or email/web site address of the vendor.  For example: Continue Reading Educational Institutions Targeted in Fraudulent Payment Requests

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, 2016. While unlikely to be taken up by the Senate this year, the bills will help to frame the discussion for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in the upcoming 115th Congress. 

The original post briefly summarizing all five bills was posted in Education Matters on June 24, 2016.

Introduced by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (H.R. 3179) is intended to improve financial aid counseling standards for students seeking federal student loans. Specifically, H.R. 3179 would replace the current requirement for entrance counseling for first-time student loan borrowers with a requirement for annual counseling. Continue Reading Fostering Financial Aid Literacy in Students: H.R. 3179

This is the fifth 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, 2016. While unlikely to be taken up by the Senate this year, the bills will help to frame the discussion for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in the upcoming 115th Congress.

The original post briefly summarizing all five bills was posted in Education Matters on June 24, 2016.

The Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act (H.R. 3178), introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), would modify consumer information disclosure requirements related to college costs and student characteristics in order to assist students in making informed decisions about where to pursue higher education. To achieve this goal, the bill would: Continue Reading Choice is Knowledge: H.R. 3178

This is the fourth 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, 2016. While unlikely to be taken up by the Senate, the bills will help to frame the discussion for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in the upcoming 115th Congress.

The original post briefly summarizing all five bills was posted in Education Matters on June 24, 2016.

The HBCU Capital Financing Improvement Act (H.R. 5530), introduced by Reps. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Bradley Byrne (R-AL), is intended to increase access to capital by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by making changes to the HBCU Capital Financing Program which provides low-cost capital to finance improvements to campus infrastructure at HBCUs. Acting as a loan guarantee program to finance repairs, renovations, and construction of critical campus buildings, the program receives contributions from 40 HBCUs and typically offers loans ranging between $10 million and $20 million. Continue Reading Renovating the Past, Constructing the Future: H.R. 5530

This is the third 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 briefly summarizing all five bills was posted in Education Matters on June 24, 2016.

The Accessing Higher Education Opportunities Act (H.R. 5529), introduced by Reps. Joe Heck (R-NV), Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX), and Raul Ruiz (D-CA), aims to help students who attend Hispanic-serving institutions access graduate-level and doctoral degree programs in health care.  Colleges and universities classified as Hispanic-serving institutions must have a Hispanic undergraduate full-time-equivalent student enrollment of at least twenty-five percent, among other requirements. Continue Reading Expanding Access and Encouraging Health Care: H.R. 5529

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 Matters on June 24, 2016.

The Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act (H.R. 5528), introduced by Reps. Joe Heck (R-NV), Phil Roe (R-TN), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Mark Pocan (D-WI), aims at helping students make timely financial decisions when preparing for college. The bill seeks to implement reforms to the federal student aid process by ensuring that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) continues to be available to future students, simplifying the FAFSA for student aid applicants, and providing more time for student aid administrators to verify the income of those applying for financial aid. Continue Reading Fear No FAFSA: H.R. 5528

This summary is the first installment in a series examining the five bipartisan bills in greater detail.

As much of the attention in Washington this week was concentrated on the sit-in by House Democrats over gun control legislation, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on June 22 approved by voice vote five bipartisan bills aimed at assisting students in choosing the right college or university, making the financial aid process fairer and more transparent, and supporting higher education institutions that serve minority students. Continue Reading House Committee Advances Higher Education Bills

On June 23, 2016, in its second time hearing Fisher v. University of Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the affirmative action admissions program at the University of Texas at Austin. The Court held that the program is lawful under the Equal Protection Clause because it is narrowly tailored to achieving concrete, compelling goals tied to the educational benefits flowing from student body diversity. The Court signaled that its holding was necessarily limited to the unique circumstances at UT, where only 25% of the first-year class is admitted under a framework considering race as one among many factors. Despite this limitation, under Fisher, higher education institutions may continue to use holistic, race-conscious admissions practices, so long as such practices are grounded in a reasoned determination that the educational value achieved from considering race as a factor cannot be achieved through other means. Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Affirmative Action Program at University of Texas

The NCAA scored a victory last week with the denial of class certification in an antitrust suit challenging the association’s former ban on multiyear scholarships (the “One Year Rule”) and its cap on scholarships (the “GIA Cap”). Plaintiff had alleged that those rules constituted a concerted effort by the NCAA and its member schools to thwart competition. This decision from the United States Southern District of Indiana in John Rock v. NCAA, Case No. 1:12-cv-01019, may, as a practical matter, end this particular case. Perhaps anticipating this outcome, Rock’s counsel has already brought other players onto the playing field in similar suits filed against the NCAA, including Deppe v. NCAA, Case No. 1:16-cv-00528 (S.D. Ind.), filed in early March. With respect to the Core Issue class Rock sought, the district court found a lack of ascertainability to reject the class. With respect to the injunction, the court found that all the class certification elements had been met, but that Rock himself was not a class representative plaintiff, since he had signed a professional contract before even initiating litigation. Continue Reading Court Denies Class Cert. in NCAA Antitrust Suit