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Education

Proposed Grants and Contributions Guidance Receives Support

With the comment period ending last week for Proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2017-270, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958) Clarifying the Scope and the Accounting Guidance for Contributions Received and Contributions Made, nonprofit and professional groups and audit firms have expressed support for the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) attempts to simplify how organizations disclose revenue from grants and contributions. Mostly impacting nonprofits like charities and foundations, the proposal revises the guidance on determining whether gifts to nonprofit groups must be presented as contributions subject to ASC 958-605, Not-for-Profit Entities—Revenue Recognition, or as reciprocal transactions (i.e., exchanges) subject to ASC 605/606. The. Read More.

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Need for State-Funded Financial Aid Slows

In its latest survey, the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (“NASSGAP”) revealed that growth in the use of state-funded student financial aid slowed in 2015-16. The total state-funded aid amount that year – $12.5 billion – is an increase of less than one percent from the previous year. The percentage is a big drop from what the NASSGAP measured from 2013-14 to 2014-15, when the year-over-year growth for state aid was around six percent. A stronger economy and demographic declines in various high-population states are being attributed to the small increase in aid. Learn more about the NASSGAP’s survey on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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College Tuition and Fees Still on the Rise

Tuition and fee prices at colleges and universities experienced a modest increase this past year. According to College Board’s annual reports, “Trends in Student Aid” and “Trends in College Pricing,” tuition and fees rose by two percent for the 2017-18 year. In particular, private nonprofit higher institutions averaged a 1.9 percent increase, public four-year colleges rose by 1.2 percent, and public two-year schools climbed by 1.1 percent. Despite the small increases in 2017-18, financial aid for students failed to keep pace with the rising tuition costs. Learn more about the College Board’s annual reports by visiting the Inside Higher Ed website.

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College Scorecard Receives an Update

The Department of Education recently updated information on the College Scorecard, a consumer tool aimed at helping students research colleges and universities. The update includes a new feature that allows data from up to 10 colleges and universities to be compared. More on the College Scorecard update is available on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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Revised White Paper Issued on Governmental and Business Financial Reporting

Helping distinguish between governmental and business financial reporting, a revised White Paper has been issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”). The White Paper, Updated: Why Governmental Accounting and Financial Reporting Is—and Should Be—Different , elaborates that the difference between governmental accounting and reporting standards and the standards for for-profit businesses require independent standards so that the information provided meets the needs of stakeholders when assessing government accountability, as well as to help make political, social and economic decisions. The White Paper also provides guidance on specific questions that typically arise regarding why general purpose governments cannot use accounting standards developed for for-profit businesses. Download the White Paper from the GASB website.

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Audit Guides Help IRS Review Nonprofit Organizations

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) wants to help nonprofits and their tax preparers avoid the possibility of being audited. Available for download on the IRS website are Audit Technique Guides for nonprofits exempt under IRC Section 501(c)(3) and other IRC Section 501(c) sub-sections. Used by IRS staff members, the guides give insight into what the IRS examines when deciding whether to audit tax-exempt organizations. More on the IRS’ Audit Technique Guides is available on the Nonprofit Quarterly website. Need help with audits? Contact a member of our Education or Nonprofits group.

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