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Implementation Guide Published for GASB Statement 74

Announced in its May 9 press release , the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) has released Implementation Guide No. 2017-2, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans. The Implementation Guide features answers to over 150 questions related to GASB Statement No. 74, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans. Download Implementation Guide No. 2017-2 at

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FAFSA Online Data Breach Discussed in Testimony

Testimony last week before the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee offered details on a breach involving the data-retrieval tool used to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”). According to Timothy Camus of the Investigations at the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, hackers used taxpayers’ personal information to begin the FASFA application process and gain access to their adjusted gross income via the data-retrieval tool. Around 100,000 taxpayers were impacted by the data breach, causing the FAFSA online tool shut down in March . More on the FAFSA data breach testimony is available on the Journal of Accountancy website.

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Executive Order Ends Enforcement of Johnson Amendment

President Trump has signed an Executive Order directing the Internal Revenue Service not to enforce the Johnson Amendment. Announced last week, the Executive Order ensures that tax-exempt organizations will not be penalized for engaging in certain political activities. The Johnson Amendment was introduced in 1954 to discourage tax-exempt organizations from participating in political activity.

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College Freshmen Survey Reveals Political Division

Last fall’s incoming freshmen class is considered the most politically polarized in history. The latest American Freshman Survey revealed that over 42 percent of first-year college students said they were “middle-of-the-road” on political matters. This percentage marks the lowest percentage of moderate students in the survey’s history. In addition, 35.5 percent of students said they were either liberal or far left, while around 22 percent identified as conservative or far right. Over 137,000 full-time college freshmen took part in the survey. More on the American Freshmen Survey is available on Inside Higher Ed.

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Purdue Unexpectedly Acquires Kaplan University

In a surprising move Thursday, Purdue University purchased for-profit school Kaplan University for $1. The deal allows the Indiana-based school to acquire most of the credential-issuing portion of Kaplan’s higher education business. An estimated 32,000 students and 15 campus locations will be impacted by the acquisition, and Purdue says the new university will not receive state funds. While some experts believe Purdue will increase its access to students, others are concerned over the school taking on Kaplan’s reputation for questionable student recruiting practices and credentials. More on Purdue’s acquisition of Kaplan University is available on Inside Higher Ed. Also check out Cherry Bekaert’s Education Group for details on how. Read More.

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What Happened to Higher Education Support in Illinois?

While the majority of states witnessed an increase in public higher education support last year, the state of Illinois experienced a significant drop. A report by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association revealed that educational appropriations for a full-time student in Illinois plunged 80 percent, from $10,986 to $2,196. In addition, public institution enrollment decreased by 11 percent. The decreases are being contributed to state lawmakers unable to agree on a budget and approving pared-down stopgap funding measures. More on the State Higher Education Executive Officers report is available on Inside Higher Ed.

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