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Education

First-Generation College Students More Engaged than Multi-Generational Students

New data from Campus Labs reveals that first-generation college students are more committed to education than multi-generational students. During its comparison of cognitive skills among both sets of students, first-generation students appear more engaged and prepared to handle college academics. Campus Labs also measured non-cognitive factors and discovered that first-generation students outscored their counterparts on educational commitment, self-efficacy, and academic and campus engagement. More on Campus Labs’ research is available on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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NCAA Settles First Concussion Lawsuit on Trial’s Third Day

The first concussion-related lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) that was viewed as a gateway to several other cases being filed was unexpectedly settled at the trial’s third day. Deb Hardin-Ploetz alleged that the NCAA was responsible for the death of her husband Greg, who had suffered from dementia and other health issues related to his college football career. Hardin-Ploetz sought $1 million for negligence and wrongful death, and she believed that the NCAA was aware of the dangers of concussions and failed to warn Greg. More on this settlement is available on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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Career-Education Law Receives Bipartisan Senate Approval

In a unanimous vote last week, the Senate education committee agreed to update the law governing $1 billion in yearly spending on career and technical education. States would also be able to set their own goals for career and technical education, which is a departure from the law’s current iteration. In addition, the bill would outline “core indicators” for students who focus in career and technical education, including graduation rates or the proportion of students who move forward to either postsecondary education or advanced skills training. More on the Perkins Career and Technical Education law is available on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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GASB Issues Statement on Interest Cost Incurred Before End of Construction Period

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) has released GASB Statement No. 89, Accounting for Interest Cost Incurred before the End of a Construction Period , which aims to improve the significance and comparability of information on capital assets and borrowing costs for a reporting period. GASB Statement No. 89 also streamlines the accounting for interest cost incurred prior to the end of a construction period. For governments that use the economic resources measurement focus to prepare financial statements, interest cost incurred prior to a construction period’s end must be labeled as an expense during the period wherein the cost is incurred. The interest cost should not be capitalized with the historical cost of a capital asset. For. Read More.

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Private Universities to Receive Tax Relief

Private colleges and universities subject to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s 1.4% excise tax on their net investment income may get a break from the Internal Revenue Service. Through the issuance of Notice 2018-55, the IRS has announced its intention to issue proposed regulations providing a stepped-up basis rule to potentially lower the amount of capital gain subject to the new tax. Specifically, the notice states that the basis of property held on December 31, 2017, later sold at a gain will not be less than the property’s fair market value on that date, plus or minus any adjustments. Read More.

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Questionnaire Issued for Actuarial Section of OPEB Plan Reports

A six-page questionnaire to complete with comprehensive annual financial reports (“CAFRs”) for other post-employment benefits (“OPEB”) plans was recently issued by the Government Finance Officers Association (“GFOA”). Questions for the Actuarial Section of an OPEB Plan’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report replaces the actuarial section of the GFOA checklist, Postemployment benefit systems and investment pools. The GFOA advises that the new questionnaire is exclusive to the actuarial section of the CAFRs for OPEBs that have applied Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 74, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans. An update for the entire checklist is expected soon. The questionnaire is available on the GFOA website.

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