December 2021
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Top Story


Colleges Update Anti-COVID Protocols


Despite ramping up strict vaccine policies, unenrolling non-compliant students, and firing non-compliant employees, institutions are still grappling with outbreaks. As the Omicron variant gains a foothold in the country, institutions have increased testing requirements and restricted nonessential travel in hopes of keeping it at bay. Some institutions had already planned to switch to remote instruction after the Thanksgiving break to prevent the spread often associated with travel. Of those that opted to return, some have since closed their campuses down due to spikes in infection. Now, as the height of flu season approaches, we are seeing institutions add flu shots to their mandates. As the definition of fully vaccinated shifts, they are adding booster shots as well.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College Health Association (ACHA) have updated their recommendations in consideration of the vaccine's waning efficacy and to address the threat of variants. Pfizer recently indicated that an additional booster shot may be needed to control the spread of the Omicron variant.

HBCU Forum
In Other News


Personnel Shortages Continue in Financial Aid
Campuses have not been immune to labor shortages plaguing the country. The loss of financial aid staff and more recently, a shortage of experienced senior financial aid officers, impacts enrollment and retention goals and compliance responsibilities. University Business recently published an article that lists introducing automation and offering better pay among the steps institutions can take to retain their senior financial aid officers.


HBCU Considers Extending Tuition Discount
South Carolina State University Board of Trustees approved the interim president's idea of extending in-state tuition rates to students from North Carolina and Georgia. President Alexander Conyers will present a detailed proposal to the board in January. The discounts would be available to students who graduated high school with a grade point average of 3.0 or better and live in North Carolina or Georgia or are the children or grandchildren of alumni.


Financial Aid Program Reinstated
Morris Brown College, a candidate for accreditation by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), announced it has been deemed eligible to participate in Federal Student Aid by the Department of Education. It had been unable to participate since the 2002-2003, academic year. Participation in federal financial aid programs is critical to enrollment potential. Recently, Sen. Jon Ossoff wrote to Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona urging him to reinstate Morris Brown's eligibility for participation in federal financial aid programs.


Accreditation Actions 
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) published a list of accreditation actions taken by its Board of Trustees during its annual meeting.


State Budget News
According to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), due to years of dwindling support, public institutions are still in a precarious position. Although the stimulus was helpful in keeping institutions alive, it could not undo the years of low funding. As the stimulus relief ends, there is some hope in the president's social spending proposals. But public institutions will still need state support to fund initiatives that bolster recruitment, retention, and innovative programs. Recent developments show some states may be inching in that direction. Increases have been sought in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. In North Carolina, Fayetteville State University is slated to receive millions to launch capital construction projects, make renovations, and tackle deferred maintenance. The allocation is the largest the university has received in decades. In Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam requested millions in funding for Norfolk State University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, and Hampton University in his proposed budget. Florida, is one outlier, with Governor Desantis' proposed budget set to increase spending on K-12 while significantly decreasing allocations to higher education. The shortfalls would impact the state's HBCUs (see 2020-2021 budget vs 2022-2023 budget). Despite need, funding for Bethune-Cookman and Florida Memorial Universities would remain flat. The allocation to Florida A&M University would decrease from $92,800,000 to $90,300,000. However, funding for Edward Waters University would increase from $6,400,000 to $7,400,000.


Presidents Look Back
Several HBCU presidents participated in a study that assessed the impact of the pandemic and what long-term plans are in place to keep successful initiatives, such as online advising, counseling, mental health support, and extensive tutoring, in place. Participants also discussed post-HEERF budgets and enrollment challenges.


Jim Crow Debt 
The Education Trust released a study on the impact of student debt on the Black community. It argues that complete debt cancellation is the only viable solution to the problems created and exacerbated by student loan debt.


White House Moves to Strengthen Relationship With Minority Businesses 
The federal government released a statement on the President's Management Agenda. It includes reforms aimed at increasing the percent of contracts awarded to disadvantaged businesses from 5 percent to 11 percent and improving category management practices to boost contracting opportunities for minority businesses. The government will also release disaggregated data on federal spending to dollars spent with underserved businesses. The statement noted that the federal government awarded 10 percent of its contracts to Small Disadvantaged Businesses in 2020. When that data is disaggregated, it reveals only 1.7 percent went to black-owned small businesses, 1.8 percent to Hispanic-owned small businesses, and 2.8 percent went to Asian-American and Pacific Islander-owned small businesses. The Small Business Administration's subcenters on several HBCU campuses provide business counseling and training. Ideally, these will play a part on implementing the new initiatives.


Governing Boards and Cybersecurity 
The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges is advising trustees to regard cybersecurity as a crucial business matter. They say trustees as fiduciaries should make a point to understand the current threats and be prepared to weigh the risks associated with the existing and future infrastructure, technologies, partnerships, and service providers.The education sector ranked lower than most industries in implementing cybersecurity protections despite the rise in attacks. Last month two community colleges in Illinois were among the victims of ransomware attacks. Both institutions had to close their campuses while they worked to restore databases and servers.


Social Mobility Outcomes for HBCU Alumni  
The UNCF's report, HBCUs Transforming Generations: Social Mobility Outcomes for HBCU Alumni, found that access to higher education is a key driver of social and economic mobility. HBCUs continue to play an outsized role in providing academic opportunities to black students.


Textbook Publishers Sue e-Commerce Company 
Five major college textbook publishing houses joined in a lawsuit against Shopify, an e-commerce company that provides a platform, shopping cart, and tools for online stores. The suit alleges that by turning a blind eyes at the unauthorized sale of PDF versions of textbooks, Shopify knowingly enables digital piracy. Legal experts say the publishers will be hard pressed to prove that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act does not protect Shopify from the allegations in the lawsuit.


Wiley Announces Acquisition 
Wiley announced that it has purchased open access research publisher, Knowledge Unlatched from owner Sven Fund. Fund will continue to lead the project, which is dedicated to making scholarly books and journals freely accessible around the world.


State System Launches Ed-Tech Start-Up 
The University of North Carolina system announced it will launch Project Kitty Hawk, a nonprofit ed-tech start-up, during 2022. The project is aimed at recruiting working adults who left college without earning a degree. It will include 120 new online programs and hopes to enroll tens of thousands of students by 2026. As it stands now, many adult North Carolinians eligible for employer education benefits enroll in out-of-state programs. The state university system hopes to lure them back with Project Kitty Hawk's workforce-aligned programs and competitive costs. Industry pundits, however, are not so sure the plan will work. They cite the mixed results similar programs have achieved in other states.


Conviction in University Rankings Fraud 
The former dean of Temple University's Fox School of Business and Management has been convicted of wire fraud. Investigators hired by the university discovered the fraud, which involved misreporting data to the U.S. News for its annual rankings. It had been going on for years and was replicated by other programs at the university. Those programs rose to the top of the US News ranking system. Once it uncovered the deception, the university fired the dean and withdrew the program from ranking consideration. In the wake of the scandal, several other institutions were found to have submitted incorrect data and were stripped of their rankings. The former dean faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.


Digital Future of Higher ED 
The New England Board of Higher Education released a study on the present attitudes of college and university presidents regarding the need to bolster and expand the digital learning infrastructure deployed during the pandemic. The study is based on data from an online survey conducted during the spring.






Elizabeth City State University announced Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon has been appointed to the Association of Governing Boards Council of Presidents. Dr. Dixon has served as chancellor since 2018.


Morris Brown College named Dr. Rashad Richey Director of Institutional Advancement & Corporate Relations. Dr. Richey previously served at Beulah Heights University where he was a department chair.


Fort Valley State University has appointed Dr. Lawanda Greene as the founding director of the university's new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Dr. Green is an associate professor and a board-certified Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. She is highly experienced and respected in academia and in the field.


Savannah State University has named Russell DeMasi interim head coach for football. The previous head coach, Shawn Quinn, stepped down December 1, 2021.


Meharry Medical College announced that, health services research expert, Dr. Rosemary Nabaweesi has been named the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation endowed chair of health policy. In her position, Dr. Nabaweesi will work to address African American injury related childhood disparities and education inequities. She has previously served at the University of Arkansas as an assistant professor of pediatrics.


Howard University named Kimberly Holmes-Iverson director of public relations in the Office of University Communications. Ms. Holmes-Iverson is best known as a former a news anchor for the CBS affiliate station in Maryland. She is a journalist who has also served as an instructor, an associate producer, public relations specialist, and public speaker.


South Carolina State University named Dr. Frederick Evans acting provost and vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Evans is currently the dean of the College of Graduate School and Professional Studies. Dr. Learie B. Luke who had been serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs, will return to his position as director of the Office of International and National Student Exchange Programs.


Xavier University named Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji Director of Xavier University of Louisiana’s Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit. Dr. West-Olatunji is the Melba Fortuné Martinez Endowed Professor in the counselor education program and director of the Center for Traumatic Stress Research at Xavier. She is an experienced educator and researcher.


Elizabeth City State University named Marcus Hilliard head football coach. Coach Hilliard is a former Assistant Coach of the Year winner. He served at Elizabeth City State University before but spent the last three seasons at Virginia Union University where he was the assistant head coach and co-defensive line coordinator.


Tuskegee University named Dr. S. Keith Hargrove as provost and vice president of academic affairs. Dr. Hargrove currently the dean of the College of Engineering at Tennessee State University. His impressive background includes stints at Morgan State University, Boeing, General Electric, Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Y12/Oak Ridge Laboratory.


American Association of State Colleges and Universities named Dr. John Silvanus Wilson Jr., as executive director of the Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI). The initiative focuses on providing advanced leadership training for those aspiring to be higher education presidents. Dr. Wilson is the former president of Morehouse College.


Virginia Union University welcomed alumni, Ms. An’Jou White and Dr. Darran Tyrone Brandon, Sr., to the Virginia Union University Board of Trustees. Ms. White is the CEO and owner of About the Books Accounting and Consulting and Dr. Brandon is pastor of the First Calvary Baptist Church in Norfolk, Virginia.


Howard University named Ms. Princess Gamble associate vice president and chief operating officer of development and alumni relations. Ms. Gamble is an experienced fundraiser. She most recently served at the Smithsonian Institution and is a founder of its National Museum of African American History and Culture.






Benedict College announced it will offer a Master of Science degree in Sport Management beginning in January. The program will be administered by the School of Education, Health and Human Services and the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation under Dr. Paula Shelby.


Jackson State University announced that the Women’s Business Center @JSU (WBC @JSU) is open. Located in the College of Business, the center will provide services to businesses meeting the Small Business Administration's criteria for women-owned small businesses and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses. Services will include counseling, free workshops, low-cost training, networking, and mentoring. Dr. Almesha Campbell, vice president for the Division of Research and Economic Development, is the administrator.


The University of the Virgin Islands announced it is releasing the USVI Marine Debris Curriculum to US Virgin Islands schools. The curriculum aims to bring awareness and foster action to combat the problem of marine debris in the Territory. It was created with input from public school teachers


Xavier University announced it is expanding the programs offered by the department of physics and computer science to include a Bachelor of Science in Robotics and Mechatronics Engineering. The program will be the first of its kind at an HBCU. Scheduled to launch in January 2022, it is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Dr. Shafqul Islam is the program coordinator.


Grambling State University announced its School of Nursing's Bachelor of Science in Nursing program has been awarded full accreditation through December 2026. The program is led by Dr. Meg Brown, who also serves as dean.


Morgan State University is working with the National Football League through its Campus Connection partnership to launch programs that provide students with hands on educational experience in sports-related careers. The program will include a football careers preparation component that will help prepare students for careers in professional football administration. It will also and a data analytics initiative managed through the Center for the Study of Blockchain and FinTech at the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management. It will provide opportunities for students to conduct applied, theoretical, and simulated-based research in the business of sports, esports and FinTech.


Spelman College announced it has formed a partnership with Braven, a national nonprofit, to provide student support and career experience through its Spelman Pathways: Creating Your Path to Life and Career Excellence initiative. The Braven Accelerator will provide students with additional support, coaching, networking opportunities, internships, research assistance, and professional development opportunities through its online platform.


The United Negro College Fund is collaborating with the Steve Fund to establish mental health programming at the nation's HBCUs and PBIs. The initiative will provide campus communities with the tools and resources needed to promote good mental health and emotional wellness.


Virginia Union University announced its Board of Trustees has approved the creation of the Virginia Union University Workforce Development and Technical Training Initiative. The initiative will provide students an opportunity to earn a certification or an associate's degree with the option of continuing work toward a bachelor's degree. The board also approved the creation of The School of Social Justice and Community Activism and the School of Sacred and Gospel Music. The School of Sacred and Gospel Music will house the Hezekiah Walker Center for Gospel Music. The center will provide programs covering the history of African American gospel music and the fundamentals of songwriting and production. Information about the School of Social Justice and Community Activism is forthcoming.


Xavier University announced that it has established an articulation agreement with Case Western Reserve University Law School. Under the agreement, eligible Xavier students can be admitted to the law school after completing three years of study. They can then earn their juris doctor degree from CWRU Law School in three years.



Grants, Awards, Gifts


Harris-Stowe State University was awarded a $2,000,000 three-year grant from the United Health Foundation to create an undergraduate bioinformatics program. The funds will be used for curriculum development, academic scholarships, and high school boot camps.


University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) students will benefit from a program launched by Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air to help aspiring commercial airline pilots. The program, True North, will provide financial aid to UMES undergraduates to offset the cost of completing the required training and ratings. UMES True North beneficiaries will work for the university as flight instructors after they graduate. Then, for five years, they will work for the sponsoring airlines.


Benedict College Women's Business Center announced it has received a $100,000 grant from the Truist Foundation. The center is located in the Tyrone A. Burroughs School of Business and Entrepreneurship. The funds will be used to help socially and economically disadvantaged women business owners through the Benedict College WBC Mobile and Creative Entrepreneurial Demonstration Project. The project targets minority women business owners in rural South Carolina.


North Carolina A&T State University announced its College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences was awarded a three-year $5,130,692 grant to modernize its vivarium, a biomedical research facility. The funds were awarded by the National Institutes of Health. The modernization project will include equipment and control system upgrades.


University of the Virgin Islands has received $75,000 from Cruzan Rum to bolster its Process Technology program with an advanced virtual simulation laboratory.


Prairie View A&M University announced it has received a $5,000,000 donation from H-E-B Chairman Charles Butt. The donation will be used to endow Founders Scholarships, a fund for eligible incoming graduates from public high schools in Texas.


Jackson State University announced it has received a $1,000,000 gift from John Nau, president and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors. The funds will be used to create STEM scholarships and grant Mr. Nau naming rights for the atrium in the JSU College of Science, Engineering and Technology building. The atrium will be named for Brigadier General (Ret.) Robert Crear '75 who has had an admirable career.


Alcorn State University announced alumnus Marc McCann '94 established the Marc McCann and Family Agricultural Endowed Scholarship Fund. The scholarships will be awarded to eligible students majoring in agriculture.


South Carolina State University announced that Dr. Ram Yadav has received a $229,706 grant to develop a nuclear physics research program. The grant was awarded by the National Science Foundation. It will be used to fund the “LEAPS-MPS: Experimental Nuclear Structure Studies” project and to strengthen the bachelor of science in physics degree program.


Texas Southern University announced it has received a $1,000,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish a Center of Excellence. The Center of Excellence for Housing and Community Development Research's mission will be to advance research that can inform local housing and community development policies in major cities.


Tennessee State University announced it has received a three-year $300,000 commitment from Waste Management to fund environmental sustainability research and provide scholarships and internships. The research will be conducted by the Colleges of Agriculture and Engineering in cooperation with Waste Management's staff. The scholarships will be awarded to eligible students from the Nashville area. Waste Management will also provide summer internship opportunities.


Stillman College announced it has raised a record amount during its Give 1876, an annual online fundraising marathon. The campaign lasts 1 day 8 hours and 76 minutes, in honor of the college's founding year. More than $88,000 was raised, most of which will be used to provide scholarships. This was the first year that schools, departments, and programs were permitted to create and promote their own giving day projects.


Johnson C. Smith University announced it has received a $750,000 gift from JP Morgan Chase to help it expand career pathways programs that help students pursue financial services careers.


Jackson State University announced it has received $10,000,000 from U.S. Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology. ONC created the Public Health Informatics and Technology Workforce Development Program to train public health professionals in scientific data collection. The program includes a partnership with Alcorn State University's Cora S. Balmat School of Nursing to develop training for nursing informatics.


Morehouse College announced it has received $1,500,000 from alumnus Justin Bayless, CEO of Bayless Integrated Healthcare. The funds will be used to support scholarships and faculty development.


Alcorn State University announced it has received $350,000 from alumnus and commencement speaker, Dr. Dennis Thomas. Dr. Thomas currently serves as commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. He was a star athlete for the Alcorn football team during the 1970s. The university said it was the largest gift received from an alumnus to date. The donation was made in honor of Dr. Thomas' parents and will be used to endow a scholarship to support students from his hometown.






North Carolina A&T State University was named Innovation & Economic Prosperity University Designee by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. This is the first time the annual award has been given to an HBCU. The award honors institutions that have innovative projects or programs in economic engagement. To earn the designation a university must complete a rigorous process that includes assessment and self-study.


Jackson State University Head Football Coach Deion Sanders stunned college sports by recruiting Travis Hunter from Florida State on national signing day. Hunter, ranked number 2 in the country, had committed to Florida State, over a year ago. The significance of his signing with an HBCU was made clear by his comments. He said he was doing so to make it easier for the next player to recognize that HBCUs may be everything they want and more. Under Coach Sanders, Jackson State Tigers have had an excellent season and he is being recognized for his coaching skills.


Denmark Technical College has begun renovating a historic residence hall. Built in 1965, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hall has never had any major work and was in need of several upgrades. The overhaul will include installing central HVAC, replacing floors and lighting, and modernizing the wi-fi and technological capabilities. The project was launched with a revitalization ceremony.


Philanthropy Magazine featured an article authored by President Dr. Walter Kimbrough, titled "Did the U.S. News College Rankings Cost My School Millions in Philanthropic Dollars?" In it the president of Dillard University urged philanthropists to ignore college rankings and use data to identify institutions that are making important contributions despite limited resources. He praised MacKenzie Scott's methodology for selecting recipients and for her hands-off approach to restricting how the gifts were to be spent.


Jackson State University announced associate vice president for the Division of Business and Finance, Ms. Misti Munroe, has received the 2021 Mississippi Business Journal's Leaders in Finance award. The award recognizes leaders in the finance, banking, and CPA sector in Mississippi.


Kirkland & Ellis, the law firm that represented the coalition of students, faculty, and alumni in their discrimination suit against the State of Maryland did so on a pro bono basis. However, when the case was settled the firm was awarded $12,500,000 in statutory fees from the state. It announced that it will donate the fees it received to: the Dillard University Center for Racial Justice, Morgan State University’s Robert M. Bell Center for Civil Rights in Education, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, Howard University’s Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center, the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education, and the HBCU scholarship fund of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Second District.


Alcorn State University President Dr. Felecia M. Nave has been named to the Presidents & Chancellors Leadership Group for Minority Opportunities Athletic Association. The group assists the association in its efforts to identify best practices and develop strategies that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.


Xavier University announced it was named #1 in Social Mobility in a report recently released by the United Negro College Fund. The report, "HBCUs Transforming Generations: Social Mobility for HBCU Alumni", found that HBCUs, in general, were very successful at moving students upward through the nation's socioeconomic hierarchy.


Howard University announced Dr. Keesha Middlemass will join PBS NewsHour for a discussion on the challenges people face after they are released from prison. Dr. Middlemass is a professor in Howard University's Department of Political Science. Her research focuses on race, public policies and the criminal justice system. She is author of Convicted & Condemned: The Politics and Policies of Prisoner Reentry (New York University Press, 2017).


Jackson State University announced Dr. Elayne H. Anthony has been named the president of the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters. She is the chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies and has served as a professor at the university for over 10 years. Her term as president of the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters will begin in 2023.



Unionization on Campus


Union Rights for College Athletes
A newly formed advocacy group called the College Basketball Players Association has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging the NCAA misclassifies college athletes as student-athletes thereby stripping them of their rights to unionize as employees. The association does not have any current college athletes as members. The impetus to file the complaint came from the NLRB's general counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, who wrote a memo that supported the idea that some college athletes could be regarded as employees. Read more.

☑️ Deadlines
Deadlines and Information



Financial Responsibility Supplemental Schedule Audit Requirement
Current regulations require institutions' audited financial statements to include a Supplemental Schedule that contains all of the financial elements required for the Department to calculate a composite score. Each item in the Supplemental Schedule must have a reference to the Balance Sheet, Statement of (Loss) Income, Notes to the Financial Statements, Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Activities, or Notes to the Financial Statements. The Department considers the Supplemental Schedules and any related Notes as material information for its evaluation of an institution's financial responsibility and its eligibility to participate in the Student Financial Aid programs. At minimum the auditor must follow and meet the requirements of AU-C Section 725 Supplementary Information in Relation to the Financial Statements as a Whole to evaluate and report on the Supplemental Schedule. Going forward, financial statement audits that do not include the Supplemental Schedule and an auditor's in-relation-to opinion will be rejected as incomplete. See the Dear Colleague Letter here.


Unemployment Benefits
Untaxed unemployment benefits should be removed from the applicant's or the parents' or spouse's adjusted gross income (AGI). The requirement to report those untaxed unemployment benefits as untaxed income has been waived.


Title IX Notice
The Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights has confirmed the Department anticipates issuing the Title IX notice of proposed rulemaking by April 2022, a month earlier than previously stated.


Treatment of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) Compensation in Awarding Title IV, HEA Assistance
Federal Student Aid published guidance to financial aid administrators on making awards to student athletes who have received compensation under NIL contracts.


Automatic Total and Permanent Disability
The Department of Education will automatically discharge Title IV loans and TEACH grants for recipients who are identified as eligible for Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) without requiring them to submit an application or other documentation. The post TPD discharge monitoring period has been suspended for the duration of the pandemic. Federal tax consequences have been eliminated.


E-Filing Rule
The Department will require administrative litigants to use the E-Filing system on the Office of Hearings and Appeals' website. The rule change goes into effect immediately, however those unable to file electronically can seek an accommodation.


Students can access the 2022-2023 FAFSA application from the student aid website or through the myStudentAid mobile app. Financial aid administrators should review the updates that were made to the form. The following FAFSA verification changes will be applicable through the remainder of the 2021-2022, FAFSA processing cycle.

  • In-person submission and notary requirements for verification of Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose is suspended. Institutions may accept electronic copies and signatures.
  • High school completion or equivalent requirement can be satisfied with documents already obtained for other purposes such as those held by the admissions office.
  • Institutions are required to review all subsequent ISIR transactions for the processing year and resolve any discrepancies before disbursing Title IV funds.
  • Many 2021-2022, transactions will continue to be selected for verification by the Central Processing System (CPS). When this occurs, report a V for completed verifications or an S for students who are exempt. Do not use blank unless a student is no longer enrolled. Institutions are not required to verify students selected under Verification Tracking Flag V1.


Accounting Standards Update
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) amended the standards on lease reporting to provide lessors, including private institutions, more flexibility in recording lease transactions. The updates have different effective dates for different types of entities. Early adoption is permitted.


Application and Institutional Student Information Record Test Files Available
Student Financial Aid has published the Application and Institutional Student Information Record test files and the comment code text for 2022-2023. Review the CPS Test System User Guide for information regarding testing using the mainframe portion of the system.


Title IV
Federal Student Aid issued an electronic announcement on Title IV disbursement reporting, excess cash, and reconciliation requirements for all Title IV programs. Because the requirements apply to disbursement and financial data, both the financial aid office and the business office should review the details. The announcement can be reviewed here. Federal Student Aid also updated the FAQ and provided access to a training video and the associated slides and transcript.


Application and Verification Guide
Student Financial Aid has published the Application and Verification Guide of the 2022-2023 Federal Student Aid Handbook.


Unclaimed Credit Balances
Institutions must have a process in place that ensures that unclaimed funds do not escheat to a state or revert to the school or any other third party in the event the institution is unable to deliver the proceeds of a credit balance to a student. If the institution is unable to deliver the funds to the student by the applicable deadlines, the funds must be returned to the Department. The assignment of the Coronavirus Indicator may prevent modification of the disbursement amount. In such cases a downward adjustment to the student's COD records is not required and the institution is required to return the funds using the G5 Miscellaneous Refund process. Follow the steps under Unclaimed Credit Balances Resulting from Disbursements with the Coronavirus Indicator in the Reporting Deadlines and Reminders electronic announcement.


Website Update
Federal Student Aid has updated studentaid.gov website. The virtual assistant's responses has been improved, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool has been updated, and the Loan Simulator will now recalculate payoff information using a specified repayment amount. The Financial Awareness Counseling Tool (FACT) has been removed. Institutions should be sure to remove web links and references to it.


Federal Student Aid Training Conference
Federal Student Aid held its annual training conference virtually November 30-December 3, 2021. You can view the sessions and download the slides on the host platform until March 2, 2022.




Repayment of Deferred Tax
The deadline for repaying the first half of the employer-share social security tax deferrals on wages earned from March 27 2020, through December 31, 2020 is Monday, January 3, 2022. (Because it is a holiday in the District of Columbia, the December 31, 2021 deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.) Underpayments and late payments can result in a 10% penalty upon the entire deferral.


Minimum Wage
In accordance with President Biden's executive order, the federal government is requiring an increase the in the minimum wage paid to employees who work on new or updated federal contracts. The minimum wage is $15 per hour effective January 30, 2022. The rule does not supersede higher local or state minimum wage and cannot be used to lower an employees pay. The minimum wage for tipped employees will be $10.50 an hour starting January 30, 2022. The Department of Labor has dedicated a page to the details.


Coronavirus Indicator
The deadline for institutions to add the Coronavirus Indicator for disbursements of Title IV funds for the 2020–21 award year is Sept. 30, 2022. Coronavirus Indicator will be accepted when the payment period start date is a date inclusive of or between Jan. 1, 2018 and July 1, 2022. Set the Coronavirus Indicator only after confirming that no further changes to a disbursement will be necessary. No changes may be made to a disbursement after the Coronavirus Indicator is selected.


Return of Title IV Reporting
The deadline for reporting funds not returned under R2T4 requirements due to CARES Act relief, for all award years is Sept. 30, 2022.


FISAP Deadline
The deadline for making changes and corrections to the FISAP has passed. However, you may submit a change request after the December 15, 2021, deadline through the COD website. Save corrections in a Draft copy and submit as a Change Request. You must provide a description of and justification for the change. Remember to press the submit button. The request will be reviewed and you will be notified whether or not it was approved.


Perkins Loan Wind Down
All Perkins Loans that have been in default for more than two years must be purchased or assigned to the Department of Education by June 30, 2022, —unless there is documented evidence that the borrower is making payments. Any defaulted Perkins Loan that has been placed with a private collection agency, must be returned to the institution so that the institution can assign it to the Department, as is required. Institutions are advised to maintain records of their collection efforts.


Audit Deadline
The Office of Management and Budget has directed federal agencies to allow recipients and sub-recipients that have fiscal year-ends through June 30, 2021, and have not yet filed their single audits, to delay completion and submission up to six months beyond the normal due date. Although they do not have to seek approval for this extension, recipients and sub-recipients should document the reason for delayed filing. They could also still qualify as a low-risk auditee.


Event:African American Board Leadership Institute Board Talks
Date:On Demand


Event:Campus Technology Threat Landscape 2022
Date/Location:On Demand

Event:The Council of Independent Colleges 2022 New Presidents Program
Date:January 3–4, 2022
Location:Marco Island, Florida 

Event:The Council of Independent Colleges 2022 Presidents Institute
Date:January 4–7, 2022
Location:Marco Island, Florida 

Event:Council for Higher Education Accreditation Annual Conference
Date:January 24–27, 2022
Location:Washington, DC 

Event:American Council on Education/Association of International Education Administrators Internationalization Collaborative 2022
Date:February 23, 2022

Event:The Higher Learning Commission 2022 Annual Conference
Date:April 1–5, 2022
Location:Chicago, Illinois 

Event:AGB 2022 National Conference on Trusteeship
Date:April 12–14, 2022



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
About This Publication
WPG HBCU News is a monthly email published by the Wesley Peachtree Group, CPAs (WPG) as a service to the sector. It provides short summaries of news articles, government regulations, and announcements found online.

WPG HBCU News is available at no cost to HBCU administrators, trustees, and senior stakeholders. It is not intended as legal or financial advice. WPG's staff, writers, editors,  publishers, web hosts, e-mail distributors, and others involved with the production and presentation of this newsletter are not liable for errors, omissions, losses, injuries, or damages arising directly or indirectly from use of this newsletter or any information presented therein.

WPG is a full-service accounting firm with clients in the private business, education, government, faith-based, and not-for-profit sectors. We specialize in higher-education with a particular emphasis on minority-serving institutions.  We welcome your feedback.
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