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FEDERAL PROGRAM INTEGRITY REGULATIONS. Spring 2011 Webinar Series Webinar 3. PI REGS: AGENDA. Updates GEN-11-10 GEN-11-11 P-11-02 Validation of High School Diploma §668.16 Ability to Benefit (ATB) §668.141 – 668.156 Repetition of Coursework §668.2 Misrepresentation §668.71 – 668.75.

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federal program integrity regulations

FEDERAL PROGRAM INTEGRITY REGULATIONS

Spring 2011

Webinar Series

Webinar 3

pi regs agenda
PI REGS: AGENDA
  • Updates
    • GEN-11-10
    • GEN-11-11
    • P-11-02
  • Validation of High School Diploma §668.16
  • Ability to Benefit (ATB) §668.141 – 668.156
  • Repetition of Coursework §668.2
  • Misrepresentation §668.71 – 668.75
pi regs updates
PI REGS: UPDATES
  • GEN-11-10 April 20, 2011
    • Additional guidance on gainful employment programs, disclosures and reporting, adding new programs
  • Disclosures
    • Disclosure form:
      • ED will provide a web-based form, similar to NPC template—data entry will result in an html file that institutions will post to their websites
      • Until that time, institutions may use their own form
pi regs updates4
PI REGS: UPDATES
  • Median loan debt:
    • Institutions must calculate this disclosure on their own until ED provides the information. Median loan debt must show Title IV debt and other educational debt separately. (Note: Median is middle of the range, not calculated average)
    • Calculate for completers; use most recently completed award year (2009-2010)
pi regs updates5
PI REGS: UPDATES
  • Reporting
    • Students to Include:
      • All students who enrolled in GE programs, whether or not they received Title IV aid
      • Do not include students for whom the institution does not have a Social Security Number
    • Process:
      • Enrollment Reporting Process on NSLDS
      • Additional information will be forthcoming
pi regs updates6
PI REGS: UPDATES
  • Information to Report:
    • ED is still finalizing the list of data items
    • A preliminary list is attached to the DCL, including data element descriptions and field lengths
    • Presumably institutions will be able to upload files of data
    • Data is student-level; institutions report FFEL or DL receipt (yes/no); private loan amounts; institutional financing amounts for all enrollments for each year (includes completers and withdrawals)
pi regs updates7
PI REGS: UPDATES
  • Adding new programs:
    • Institutions must notify ED of new GE programs with the first day of class on or after July 1, 2011, but before October 1, 2011
    • For new GE programs that begin on or after October 1, 2011, institutions must provide the notification to ED at least 90 days before the first day of class
    • All notifications must include the information required to support the institution’s determination of the need for the program (Webinar 1, slides 36 and 37)
pi regs updates8
PI REGS: UPDATES
  • GEN-11-11 April 20, 2011
    • Provides additional guidance on state authorization requirements for distance education coursework
  • Enforcement
    • ED will not take action against an institution before July 1, 2014, so long as the institution is making a good faith effort to obtain the necessary authorizations before that date
pi regs updates9
PI REGS: UPDATES
  • “Evidence of good faith efforts by institutions could include any one or more of the following items:
    • Documentation that an institution is developing a distance education management process for tracking students’ place of residence when engaged in distance education.
pi regs updates10
PI REGS: UPDATES
  • Documentation that an institution has contacted a State directly to discuss programs the institution is providing to students in that State to determine whether authorization is needed.
  • An application to a State, even if it is not yet approved.
  • Documentation from a State that an application is pending. “
pi regs updates11
PI REGS: UPDATES
  • If a state does not require authorization or licensure, no action is required on the part of the institution (recommend documenting this)
  • ED will work with appropriate parties to develop a comprehensive directory
  • ED will support efforts to develop model reciprocal agreements, common applications or other methods
pi regs updates12
PI REGS: UPDATES
  • P-11-02 April 27, 2011
    • Guidance on the impact of the FY 11 federal budget legislation (Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011; Public Law 112-10)
    • 2011-2012 Pell Grant Payment Schedules are unchanged (P-11-01, February 1, 2011)
    • Two Pell Grants in one Award Year eliminated for 2011-2012; still effective for 2010-2011
pi regs updates13
PI REGS: UPDATES
    • 2011 Crossovers: the institution may choose the award year to which they assign a student’s crossover payment period for Pell Grant purposes
      • No longer required to compare the two award years and assign the crossover payment period to the award year in which the student receives the greater payment
  • 2011-2012 Campus-based awards
    • Will be recalculated by May 9, 2011
pi regs validation of high school diploma
PI REGS: VALIDATION OF HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
  • The intent of the regulations is to require institutions to develop a process for evaluating the legitimacy of a student’s claim to have completed high school
  • Institutions must evaluate the validity of the high school diploma (HSD) if the institution or the Secretary has reason to suspect the legitimacy of the diploma
pi regs validation of high school diploma15
PI REGS: VALIDATION OF HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
  • ED is collecting high school completion information on the FAFSA for first-time undergraduate students
    • Applicants supply name of high school from which they received or will receive a high school diploma, city and state
    • FAFSA On The Web has a drop-down list of high schools (from NCES)
pi regs validation of high school diploma16
PI REGS: VALIDATION OF HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
    • Inclusion on the list does not mean the high school is legitimate; absence of the high school does not mean it is not legitimate
  • ED does not have nor plan to develop a list of legitimate or illegitimate high schools
  • Schools are not required to follow up until 2012-2013
  • Does not apply to home-schooled students
pi regs validation of high school diploma17
PI REGS: VALIDATION OF HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
  • For 2011-2012, schools are required to have a procedure to evaluate high school diplomas
    • ED is not requiring schools to collect a high school diploma or high school transcript
    • A student’s certified statement is not sufficient documentation when validation of the high school diploma is required
    • If the high school is unaccredited, that does not mean the diploma is not legitimate
pi regs validation of high school diploma18
PI REGS: VALIDATION OF HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
  • ED does not plan to provide additional guidance for students whose high schools no longer exist, who graduated from a foreign high school, etc.
  • When an institution is unable to determine whether a student’s diploma is valid, there are alternative ways for the student to establish aid eligibility (GED, ATB)
  • This requirement is not limited to undergraduate students nor can it be waived based on the age of the student
pi regs validation of high school diploma19
PI REGS: VALIDATION OF HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
  • “Acceptable documentation for a review can include a high school diploma and a final transcript that shows all the courses the student completed.”
  • For foreign high schools, “there are companies that provide services for determining the validity of foreign secondary school diplomas; documentation from such companies can inform an institution’s diploma evaluation.”
pi regs validation of high school diploma20
PI REGS: VALIDATION OF HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
    • This requirement is not retroactive—it applies to “any applicant who completes a FAFSA beginning with 2011-2012 award year.”
    • Diploma mill: “an entity that offers a credential, typically for a fee, and requires little or no academic work on the part of the purchaser of the credential.”
  • School Perspective: DCI policy
pi regs ability to benefit
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • ATB test alternative
    • Statutory change from HEOA (August 2008)
    • Satisfactory completion of 6 semester, trimester or quarter credit hours, or 225 clock hours, that are applicable toward a degree or certificate offered by the institution
    • Student is not aid-eligible during the time he or she is earning the 6 credits/225 clock hours
pi regs ability to benefit22
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • Institutions that admit students under ATB testing cannot fail to accept students under this 6-credit alternative (and vice versa)
  • Hours can be completed at enrolling institution or another institution
  • Hours do not have to be transferred in, and do not have to be applicable to the program or major in which the student is enrolling
pi regs ability to benefit23
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • Hours do have to be applicable to a program offered by the enrolling institution
  • Preparatory or remedial coursework does not count for this alternative, unless the courses are part of an eligible program
  • Credits earned by test-outs do not count
pi regs ability to benefit24
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • In 2011-2012, schools will report on the type of ATB admission, whether ATB test or 6-credit alternative
    • 2011-2012 COD Technical Reference fields:

ATB Code

ATB Test Administrator Code

ATB Test Code

ATB Completion Date

ATB State Code

pi regs ability to benefit25
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • Test administrators must be certified by the test publisher or the state, as applicable, to administer the ATB test
  • Test publishers must submit to ED as part of the test approval process descriptions of:
    • The test administrator certification process, including how they will determine that the test administrator has the necessary “training, knowledge, skill, and integrity” to be certified;
pi regs ability to benefit26
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • The test anomaly analysis they will conduct, including how they will identify potential test irregularities; and
  • How they will determine that the test administrator has the ability and facilities to keep the ATB test secure against disclosure or release.
pi regs ability to benefit27
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • The institution is liable for any Title IV funds disbursed to an ATB student if the institution or an employee of the institution compromises test security or testing procedures; pays any bonuses, commission or other incentive payments to test administrators; or otherwise interferes with the test administrator’s independence or test administration
pi regs ability to benefit28
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • An ATB test is properly administered if:
    • The test administrator is certified by the test publisher or the state, as applicable, to give that test;
    • He or she administers the test in accordance with instructions provided by the test publisher, and in a manner that ensures test integrity and security;
    • The test administrator makes the test available only to a test-taker, and only during a regularly scheduled test;
pi regs ability to benefit29
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • The test administrator secures the test against disclosure or release; and
  • He or she submits the completed test or a record of test scores for computerized tests to the test publisher within the timeframe specified and in accordance with the test publisher’s instructions.
pi regs ability to benefit30
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • The regs clarify the definition of the term independent test administrator:
    • “an independent test administrator must have no current or prior financial or ownership interest in the institution, its affiliates, or its parent corporation, other than the fees earned through the agreement an independent test administrator has with the test publisher or State to administer the test.”
pi regs ability to benefit31
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • An independent test administrator may not score a test.
  • If an individual fails to pass an ATB approved test, he or she “may not retake the same form of the test for the period prescribed by the test publisher or the State responsible for the test.”
pi regs ability to benefit32
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • Institutions must maintain a record for each applicant who takes an ATB test, including:
    • The test taken by the applicant;
    • The date of the test;
    • The applicant’s scores as reported by the test publisher, state or an assessment center;
    • The name and address of the test administrator who administered the test, and any identifier assigned to him or her by the test publisher; and
pi regs ability to benefit33
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • If the applicant who took the test is an individual with a disability and he or she was unable to take an approved ATB test, or he or she asked for or needed testing accommodations, documentation of his or her disability and of the testing arrangements.
pi regs ability to benefit34
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • Other revisions to the ATB regulations include:
    • Test approval, requirements for submission of substantive changes, and approval revocation procedures
    • ED’s criteria for test approval
    • Non-English speakers: “If no test is reasonably available. . .institutions will no longer be able to use any test that has [not] been previously rejected for approval by the Secretary.”
pi regs ability to benefit35
PI REGS: ABILITY TO BENEFIT
  • Procedures for ATB testing of individuals with disabilities
  • Agreement between ED and the test publisher
  • Administration of ATB tests
  • Administration of ATB tests by assessment centers
pi regs repetition of coursework
PI REGS: REPETITION OF COURSEWORK
  • This regulation applies only to term-based programs (standard and non-standard terms)
    • Does NOT apply to non-term programs
  • Amends definition of full-time student; institution may include repeat credits to improve a non-F or non-failing grade, but only one time for each course
    • May still include repeats of failed courses
pi regs repetition of coursework37
PI REGS: REPETITION OF COURSEWORK
  • An institution may NOT include in enrollment status a repeated course to improve a non-failing grade if the course repetition is because a student failed another course
    • For example, student takes courses A, B, C and D in first term; passes A, B and C but fails D
    • Because of course rotation or other issue, student must retake A, B, C and D—institution cannot include A, B and C in student’s enrollment status
pi regs repetition of coursework38
PI REGS: REPETITION OF COURSEWORK
  • Reminders:
    • All repeats count as attempted credits, even if the institution has a policy of grade replacement
      • Affects quantitative progress and max timeframe
    • If a student repeats a remedial course that exceeds the one-year limit, the course may NOT be included in the student’s enrollment status
    • For courses with the same course codes but different content in subsequent terms, document each iteration
pi regs misrepresentation
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • The revised regulations apply to all institutions, not just for-profit institutions
    • For-profit schools also subject to FTC guidelines
    • In comments, ED specifically references GAO undercover investigation—out of 15 schools visited, 4 “encouraged fraudulent practices” and “all 15 made deceptive or otherwise questionable statements to GAO’s undercover applicants.”
pi regs misrepresentation40
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • ED considers misrepresentations a “serious violation of the institutions’ fiduciary duty”
  • ED will take into consideration whether the misrepresentation was intentional or inadvertent
  • Includes “false, erroneous, or misleading statements about the institution that are made by an ineligible institution, organization or persons with whom the institutions has an agreement to provide marketing, advertising, recruiting, or admissions services. “
pi regs misrepresentation41
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • Does NOT include
    • Statements made by students on social networking sites
    • Statements made by other entities that have agreements with the institution to provide services other than educational, marketing, advertising, recruiting or admissions (e.g., food service or janitorial service)
pi regs misrepresentation42
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • No new disclosures or reporting; intent is to “make sure that all statements an institution makes are truthful.”
  • “Substantial misrepresentation” is defined as “any misrepresentation on which the person to whom it was made could reasonably be expected to rely, or has reasonably relied, to the person’s detriment.”
pi regs misrepresentation43
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • ED will use a “rule of reasonableness” and “consider other factors” in determining what is substantial misrepresentation and whether or not to impose penalties
  • Penalties may include:
    • Revocation of PPA (Title IV eligibility)
    • Denial of recertification
    • Limitations on FSA participation
    • Fine, suspension or termination
pi regs misrepresentation44
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • Required testimonials from students or graduates or testimonials given under duress are suspect, at best, and are included in the definition of misrepresentation as false, erroneous and misleading
  • Four main areas of misrepresentation regs
pi regs misrepresentation45
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • Nature of Educational Programs
    • Type, source, nature and extent of accreditation, whether institutional, programmatic or specialized
    • Transferability of credits to other institutions
    • Conditions under which the institution will accept transfer credits
    • Graduates’ qualifications to take exams or receive licensure or certification, to perform certain functions or to meet additional conditions
pi regs misrepresentation46
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • Requirements for successful program completion and grounds for termination of enrollment
  • Program recommendations, testimonials or endorsements by counselors, high schools, colleges, employers, members of an industry, employment agencies, students, former students, government officials or others
  • Size, location, facilities and equipment
pi regs misrepresentation47
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • Availability, frequency and appropriateness of courses and programs to employment objectives
  • Nature, age, and availability of training devices or equipment and appropriateness to employment objectives
  • Number, availability and qualifications of faculty and other personnel
  • Availability of part-time employment or other forms of financial assistance
pi regs misrepresentation48
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • Nature and availability of tutoring or specialized instruction, guidance, counseling or other supplemental assistance
  • Nature or extent of enrollment prerequisites
  • Subject matter or content of program “or any other fact related to the degree, diploma, certificate of completion, or any similar document. . .awarded upon completion of the course of study”
pi regs misrepresentation49
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • Whether the degree has been authorized by the appropriate state agency
  • Any matters required to be disclosed to prospective students under §§ 668.42 and 668.43
    • Required consumer information about financial assistance and the institution, respectively
pi regs misrepresentation50
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION

2. Nature of Financial Charges

  • Scholarship offers
  • Whether a specific charge is customary
  • The cost of the program and the refund policy
  • The availability or nature of financial assistance, including a student’s responsibility to repay any loans, regardless of completing the program or finding employment
pi regs misrepresentation51
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • The student’s right to reject a type of financial aid, or whether the student must apply for a type of financial aid, such as institutional financing
pi regs misrepresentation52
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION

3. Employability of Graduates

  • The institution’s relationship with any organization, employment agency or other agency
  • The institution’s plans to maintain a placement service for graduates or assist graduates in obtaining employment
pi regs misrepresentation53
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • “The institution’s knowledge about the current or likely future conditions, compensation, or employment opportunities in the industry or occupation for which the students are being prepared”
  • Whether employment is being offered by the institution or that a talent hunt or contest is being conducted
    • Cannot use “Help Wanted;” “Employment;” “Business Opportunities”
pi regs misrepresentation54
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • Government job statistics relating to potential placement of graduates
  • Other requirements generally needed for employment
    • Commercial driving licenses; firearms permits
  • Failure to disclose factors that would prevent an applicant from qualifying for such requirements
    • Criminal records; medical conditions
pi regs misrepresentation55
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION

4. Relationship with the Department of Education

  • “An eligible institution, its representatives, or any ineligible institution, organization, or person with whom the eligible institution has an agreement may not describe the eligible institution’s participation in the title IV, HEA programs in a manner that suggests approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of the quality of its educational programs.”
pi regs misrepresentation56
PI REGS: MISREPRESENTATION
  • School Perspective: DCI policy
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