CPAs and Advisors with Your Growth in Mind


Obama Unveils Free Community College Plan

Speaking to students and faculty members at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, last month, President Obama shared details of his higher education proposal, “America’s College Promise”. Projected to cost $60 billion over the next ten years, Obama’s plan would offer students free tuition at two-year community colleges. Stressing the importance of community colleges, Obama noted the proposal would help serve as a stepping stone for students to receive bachelor degrees and occupational training certificates. While some bipartisanship exists, the plan could be a tough sell to Congress. Referencing the matter, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). Read More.

Committee Report Discusses IRS Treatment of Tax-Exempt Applicants

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (“the Committee”) has issued a report concerning allegations that the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) intentionally targeted the tax-exempt applications of conservative nonprofit groups. Released on December 23rd, The Internal Revenue Service’s Targeting of Conservative Tax-Exempt Applicants: Report of Findings for the 113th Congress features over 1.3 million pages of review documents, and the transcripts of interviews from numerous IRS, Treasury and Justice Department employees. To view the report , visit the Committee’s website. Also check out Cherry Bekaert’s Nonprofits and Education industry pages to discover how our Firm can guide you forward in. Read More.

Framework for College Ratings Plan Released

Recently, the Department of Education revealed the framework of its oft-delayed college ratings system. Featuring 11 metrics as criteria for evaluating colleges, the ratings system will measure information such as the rate at which low-income and first generation students are enrolled at institutions, and their affordability. Other elements, like the controversial plan for measuring student outcomes and the average net price of an institution, are also under consideration for inclusion. With officials planning to publish the actual ratings system next year, the framework is currently open for public comment until February 17, 2015. For the complete story , visit the Inside Higher. Read More.

More College Students Taking Longer to Earn Degree

As college students spend more than the traditional four years to graduate, a new report has revealed the monetary costs of each additional year. According to Complete College America, an extra year at a public two-year college results in $15,933 more in tuition, fees, and room and board. At a four-year public university, the cost is $22,826 each year. The report attributes extended stays to excessive requirements and courses, which often make it difficult for students to juggle school, work and family responsibilities concurrently. For the complete article , visit The Washington Post website. Also visit Cherry Bekaert’s Education industry page to see. Read More.

Final Rules on PLUS Loans Issued

In response to the recent decline in eligible applicants created by the economic downturn and strict creditworthiness standards, the U.S. Department of Education has released final rules to improve its Federal Direct PLUS Loan program. The focus of the final rules is the definition of “adverse credit” and its effect on loan eligibility. Helping applicants while protecting them from over borrowing, the updated definition reflects a $2,085 threshold that is adjusted over time and based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. It is expected that the final rules will take effect July 2015. For the full story on the. Read More.

The College Board Releases 2014 Report on Higher Education Trends

Featuring up-to-date information on financial aid, tuition and other higher education-related expenses, the College Board recently published its annual report, Trends in College Pricing 2014. Based on figures between the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years, the College Board reported that average tuition and fee prices increased by 2.9% for in-state students at four-year public colleges and universities. For out-of-state students attending four-year public colleges and universities, tuition rose by 3.3%. While the increases are higher than the 2.0% rise in the Consumer Price Index from July 2013 to July 2014, they are lower in all sectors than the average annual. Read More.