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Support for Students with Disabilities in Supreme Court’s Hands

The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to detail which services are deemed appropriate for a student’s educational experience. The basis of the inquiry involves parents discovering their autistic son made further progress at a specialized private school. After the parents asked the local public school to offer the same level of services the private school provided their son, the district office declined. As a result, the parents sued the district to cover the private school’s $70,000 tuition. More on the case is available on the Insider Higher Ed website.

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Navient Sued Over Failure to Help Borrowers

Student loan servicing company Navient is being sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over claims of failing to assist borrowers during the repayment period. Bureau Director Richard Cordray alleges that Navient makes it difficult for borrowers to pay back loans by incorrectly applying or allocating payments. Cordray believes the company often fails to fix errors unless a borrower is vigilant to have the problem resolved. In response to the lawsuit, Navient claims the allegations are unfounded and questions the timing of the lawsuit, as it was filed on the eve of a new presidential administration. More on the Navient lawsuit is available at Inside Higher Ed.

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Nonprofits Receive Updated Consolidation Reporting Guidance

Helping nonprofits with consolidated reporting disclosures, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) recently issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2017-02, Not-for-Profit Entities—Consolidation (Subtopic 958-810): Clarifying When a Not-for-Profit Entity That Is a General Partner or a Limited Partner Should Consolidate a For-Profit Limited Partnership or Similar Entity. ASU No. 2017-02 clarifies when nonprofits that are general partners should consolidate their holdings in a for-profit limited partnership. The ASU will move the current content from Subtopic 810-20, Consolidation—Control of Partnerships and Similar Entities, that was deleted in ASU 2015-02 and move it to Subtopic 958-810 for nonprofits. The FASB says the. Read More.

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Private Colleges Offering Two-Year Programs

Two four-year private universities recently introduced two-year associate degree programs for prospective students. Starting next fall, the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota will offer a liberal arts associate degree for financially-strapped students carrying a 2.5 high school grade point average. Applications for the program will be accepted once the university receives approval from the accreditor. Also, New York City’s Yeshiva University will launch an associate of science degree program for students that failed to meet the requirements for its bachelor’s programs but still want to attend the school. More on the private institutions’ two-year programs can be read on the Inside Higher Ed website.


Will the Overtime Rule Delay Impact College Salaries?

Despite the November 22 injunction delaying the Department of Labor’s final overtime rule , numerous college employees are still getting raises. Issued earlier this year, the final rule increases the salary threshold for overtime pay and offered a teaching exemption for non-faculty employees and postdoctoral fellows that primarily conduct research. The injunction shelved the rule’s December 1 effective date, but some higher institutions have already implemented their payroll changes and want to avoid damaging employee relations. Other colleges and universities still plan to postpone salary changes due to the injunction. More on the final overtime rule injunction and its impact on colleges can be accessed on Inside Higher Ed.

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SACS Commission Puts Ten Colleges on Probation

At its meeting this month, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed ten colleges and universities on probation. The affected institutions were cited mostly for financial reasons and governing board issues. Most notable on the list was the University of Louisville, which was warned that it would be out of compliance for replacing its Board of Trustees without due process. The full list of colleges can be seen on Inside Higher Ed.