Case Law Update: Sterrett v. Heather Cowan and several employees of the University of Michigan

MICHIGAN CASE LAW UPDATE Sterrett v. Heather Cowan and several employees of the University of Michigan, sued in their personal and official capacities 85 F. Supp. 3d.916 (February 4, 2015) This case involves a University of Michigan student (now suspended) who sued several officials employed by the University after he was suspended for violating the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. The facts reveal that the Plaintiff was a freshman in the […]

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College Ratings System Framework and Invitation to Comment

The U.S. Department of Education issued for public comment a college ratings system framework. The proposed system will rely upon broad categories that highlight particular institutional successes and weaknesses employing metrics that might include: percentage of students receiving Pell Grants; average net cost of attendance; and completion rates, among others. The system proposed would group institutions for comparison purposes according to whether they grant two-year or four-year degrees.

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Draft Discussion Guide on Measuring College Outcomes

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) has issued a draft discussion guide on measuring college outcomes. The guide focuses on a strategic framework designed to enable colleges and universities, policymakers, and the public to discuss and create measurement tools for reporting student outcomes after college.

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White House Proposal to Make Community College Free for Responsible Students

President Barack Obama announced a proposal that would allow students enrolled in community college to earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree or the technical skills needed in the workforce at no cost. To be eligible, a student must attend community college at least half-time, maintain at least a 2.5 GPA, and make steady progress toward completing his or her program. Federal funding would cover three-quarters of the average […]

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Updated Guidance on Making Direct Loan Refunds of Cash

The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance for institutions regarding Direct Loan refunds. Included in the guidance is a reminder that, as of January 1, 2015, the Department no longer accepts paper checks for Direct Loan refunds of cash. To make the most timely and accurate refunds, the guidance generally recommends using the G5 Web Site. The guidance also provides general information about Direct Loan funds and the process […]

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Third Party Servicer Data Form – Reporting Requirement

The U.S. Department of Education announced it will collect information directly from third party servicers that perform work on behalf of Title IV eligible institutions since the Department determined that “a significant number of higher education institutions failed to report, update, and/or incorrectly report[ed] third party servicer information” as required. Entities that meet the definition of a third party servicer are required to submit a Third Party Servicer Data Form.

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Senate Task Force Report on Federal Regulation of Higher Education

The Senate Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education recently released a report entitled “Recalibrating Regulation of Colleges and Universities” in which the Task Force stated that “oversight of higher education by the Department of Education has expanded and evolved in ways that undermine the ability of colleges and universities to serve students and accomplish their missions.” The Task Force includes a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, working with […]

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Title IX: Resolution Agreement between Princeton University and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that it has entered into a resolution agreement with Princeton University to ensure compliance with Title IX. The action follows an OCR investigation that found that Princeton was in violation of Title IX for failing to promptly and equitably respond to complaints of sexual misconduct, for failing to end a sexually hostile environment for one student, and for instituting […]

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International Programs: Dear Colleague Letter on Ineligible Courses at Foreign Institutions

The Department of Education released a Dear Colleague Letter on the implications of laws and regulations that limit the courses that may be offered by a foreign institution as part of an eligible program for students receiving Direct Loan funds. The letter emphasizes that offering ineligible courses makes the program ineligible for Title IV funds, but notes that a foreign institution may remain eligible by offering two versions of a […]

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Public Act 152: Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

In 2011, the Governor signed into law PA 152 of 2011, known as the Publicly Funded Health Insurance Contributions Act, which caps the amount of money public employers, such as colleges, cities, townships and villages can pay towards employee health care. The law provides employers with two options for cost sharing. The default option is a monetary “hard” cap based on an employee’s marital and family status. Employees would be […]

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