March 2023

The Department of Education (Department) Responded to Comments on its Third Party Servicer (TPS) Guidance. The Department pushed back the effective date and reporting deadline for TPS compliance to September 2, 2023. The ramped up oversight was intended to ensure TPS agreements do not include incentive compensation or exceed the statutory limit for outsourced academic programming. However, various stakeholders criticized the wording as too vague. Among the concerns brought to the Department’s attention were: compliance costs, audit responsibilities, impact on study abroad programs, impact on technology fees, and possible loss of remote financial aid processors. Comments close March 30, 2023.


Pell Eligibility Sought for Students in Short-Term Programs

Under current rules, Pell Grant eligibility is restricted to programs longer than 600 clock hours. Two bills introduced in the  Congress—the JOBS Act and the PELL Act—would change that. The JOBS Act would not allow for-profit participation and would required approvals from states and industry partners. The PELL Act would allow for-profit participation but require minimum completion and job placement rates and graduate earning. 


Higher ED Has Not Fully Recovered from COVID. Despite showing year over year improvement, higher education enrollment remains lower than before the pandemic. There were declines in completion rates and student transfers. The data was compiled and analyzed by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. In addition to making its usual reports available, the center unveiled a dashboard update that provides additional insights on race, ethnicity, majors, and enrollment trends.


The Department will Enforce Cybersecurity Updates to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley rules, which will go into effect in June. To aid in cybersecurity efforts, the Department provided best practices for risk management and sanitizing and disposing media. Non-compliance may jeopardize participation in Title IV programs.


Study Finds Summer Pell Boosts Retention and Graduation. Researchers found student ability to use summer Pell grants improved their academic attainment and post-graduation earning. The phenomenon was particularly evident among Black students and older students. An analysis of the report appeared in Diverse Issues in Higher Education.


Bill Authorizing Virginia Public HBCUs to Reduce Tuition Heads to Governor’s Desk. Virginia’s General Assembly passed legislation that permits Norfolk State University and Virginia State University to offer lower tuition to specified out-of-state applicants. The prerequisites include stipulations such as prior completion of 30 credit hours of coursework in a data science and technology, science and engineering, health care or education program. The pricing is aimed at attracting out-of-state candidates who will stay on after graduation and fill high-demand jobs. The governor is expected to sign the legislation.


Texas Considers Expanding Performance-Based Funding. A bill before the Texas House of Representatives links state appropriations for community colleges to the number of degrees, certificates, and credentials awarded in high-demand fields. This would be in addition to a base level of funding determined by enrollment. The bill is based upon recommendations made by the Texas Commission on Community College Finance. The change would impact St. Philip’s College, a community college in Austin that is both an HBCU and an HSI.


Department of Education Will Increase Scrutiny. The Department announced it will employ secret shoppers to gauge compliance with federal regulations. The shoppers will focus on misrepresentation in accreditation, cost of attendance, transferability of credits, withdrawal rates, completion rates, job placement rates, and future earning potential claims. Findings may trigger a program review or be used to support a review underway. Results may be shared with state and federal law enforcement.


President Biden Unveiled his Budget Proposal for 2024. The budget increases the maximum Pell Grant and subsidizes tuition for students from lower income families who are enrolled at an HBCU, TCU, or MSI. The budget increases funding (over the 2023 levels) to support institutional capacity and expand research infrastructure at HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs. The Department provided additional information relevant to colleges and universities, including summaries, budget tables, and justifications provided to Congress.


Tenure and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Policies Rolled Back. Although Florida has garnered the bulk of national attention, other states are also gutting tenure and scuttling DEI policies. In Texas, after the governor said it was illegal, several the public university systems were directed to cease considering DEI initiatives. In the wake of challenges to the gubernatorial mandate, the legislature is considering prohibiting public institutions from awarding tenure or considering of DEI in hiring.


Registries May Address Obstacles to Assessing Alternative and Micro-Credentials. The results of a recent survey suggests that employers value micro and alternative credentials but find it difficult to assess the skills they represent. The challenges impact students, institutions, and governments. Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education announced it will partner with Credential Engine to create a state-based credential registry. This may provide a template other states and entities can adopt.


Bank Seeks to End Pause on Federal Student Loan Payments. SOFi Bank filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration for extending the pause to payment for all students. The bank, which specializes in student loan refinancing, contends that the pause should have been restricted to students whose loans would be forgiven if the plan stands up in court.


The Strike at Temple University is Over. The Temple University Graduate Students’ Association voted to approve the university’s offer, ending a highly contentious strike that lasted over a month. Unionization continues to be an issue at colleges and universities. During 2022, nearly 62 percent of strikers in the US were from academia. Legislators in at least one state have considered prohibiting faculty and staff from participating in strikes.


United Nations’ Treaty on Higher Education Goes into Effect. The first legally binding international treaty on higher education went into effect this month with the ratification of Andorra. The treaty, adopted in 2019, aims to establish global recognition of higher education qualifications. The focus is on stamping out diploma mills and fraud, recognizing prior learning—particularly of individuals who do not have access to their credentials due to wars or catastrophe— and affording students the right to appeal when their qualifications are rejected. Neither the US nor China has ratified the treaty. However, it has been ratified by other popular destinations for international students including Japan, Norway, Australia, France, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Finds Student Loan Junk Fees. In a special edition of its Supervisory Highlights, the CFPB revealed it found student loan servicers were generating junk fees. Although they had policies prohibiting payment by credit card they were accepting and then reversing credit card payments. This generated late fees while saddling borrowers with additional accrued interest, delinquency, and negative credit reports. CFPB directed the servicers to ensure their systems and customer service representatives do not accept credit card payments if doing so violates their policy. They also required restitution of late fees and correction of negative credit reporting related to the practice.


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Harris-Stowe State University named Dr. Harvey Fields the inaugural dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Dr. Fields hails from Washington University where he served as associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Jarvis Christian University President Dr. Lester C. Newman announced that he will retire in June 2023. Dr. Newman led the institution for 11 years and is credited with its successful transition from a beleaguered college into a competitive university. 


Jackson State University named Dr. Elayne Hayes-Anthony acting president. An alumna of the university, Dr. Hayes-Anthony was chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies. She takes the reins from Thomas K. Hudson, JD, who has resigned.


Morgan State University named Ms. Endia DeCordova vice president for institutional advancement and executive director of the Morgan State University Foundation, Inc. Ms. DeCordova is an alumna of Morgan State University. She most recently served at Rutgers University as vice chancellor for advancement.


North Carolina A&T State University named Dr. Nicole B. Burrell chair of the department of physician assistant studies and founding director of its new physician assistant program. Dr. Burrell previously served as the director of pre-clerkship for the Stanford University masters program in physician assistant studies. The university also named Dr. Melissa Hodge-Penn associate vice chancellor for research and economic development. Dr. Hodge-Penn hails from the University of Mississippi where she served as assistant vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs.


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Spelman College received $10,000,000 from Rosemary K. and John W. Brown to support construction of the Mary Schmidt Campbell, PhD, Center for Innovation & the Arts. The center is intended as a cross-disciplinary space for collaboration, innovation, exhibition, and study. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2024. 


Dillard University received a $700,000 Higher Learning Through Humanities in Food Studies grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant will support a multi-year project at the Dillard University Ray Charles Program in African American Material Culture to study the historical, cultural, political, and global impact of food. 


Langston University announced CoBank committed $500,000 to support the Langston University CoBank Scholars. The initiative will provide scholarships and internships for students. The program will also include coaching and mentoring opportunities.


The Southern University System received $250,000 donation from Diageo North America to create the Diageo Endowed Scholarship Fund. The company is also supporting Southern University with lectures, mentorship opportunities, and a variety of resources and development programs.


Alabama A&M University received a $201,000 grant from the Department of Energy as part of a project to increase students in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields. Other participants in the project which has a total budget of $750,000 are the University of Texas at El Paso, North Carolina Central University, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 


Clark Atlanta University received a $100,000 grant from Macy’s Future of Style Fund to support the university’s art and fashion department. The funds will be used to produce the department’s annual Fashion Week, provide scholarships and support the department’s programs.


The University of the Virgin Islands received a $20,000 donation from Tropical Shipping in support of its youth ocean explorers program. The donation will support middle school and high school students interesting in pursuing coastal, marine, and environmental sciences, natural resource management, and conservation.


Elizabeth City State University received a $30,000 gift from PSA Airlines. The gift will be used to provide scholarships, host events, and pay licensing and testing fees for students in the university’s aviation science program.


Johnson C. Smith University received a $10,000 donation for its e-sports and gaming management program from the Charlotte Hornets Foundation and Hornets Venom GT. The donation will be used to fund various initiatives and activities.


Claflin University received $10,000 from the Savannah River Mission Completion. The funds will be used to support student scholarships in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


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Kudos to HBCUs for providing their campuses and surrounding communities with opportunities to observe National Women’s History Month this year and congratulations to all participants in the various basketball competitions. Well done. 



Spelman College announced President Dr. Helene Gayle is the recipient of the 2023 Shaw-Hardy Taylor Achievement Award. The award honors leaders for their philanthropy and work in the advancement of gender and racial equity.


Lane College paid tribute to former president, Dr. Wesley C. McClure, during his tenure as president. Completed in 2009, McClure Hall is a critical component in the college’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs.


A multidisciplinary team of students and faculty from Stillman College have been collaborating to develop methods to reduce micro and non-plastic pollution in Brazil. The team will travel throughout Brazil to present their findings before the Firjan SENAI Institute of Innovation in Green Chemistry; the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; the Macromolecule Institute; and an elementary school.


Alabama A&M University announced Dr. Martha Verghese was awarded the Gardner Award from the Alabama Academy of Science. It is the highest award offered by the academy for excellence in research and leadership in the state. Dr. Verghese is chair of the department of food and animal sciences and a professor of nutritional biochemistry. 


Howard University announced President Biden presented Denise Saunders Thompson with the 2021 National Medal of Arts for her work as president and CEO of the International Association of Blacks in Dance. Due to the pandemic, the award ceremony was delayed. Ms. Saunders is the associate dean of administration in the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. The ceremony took place in the East Room at the White House. Other honorees included Gladys Knight and Colson Whitehead.


Ms. Magazine published an op-ed by Dr. Rosa Mino an assistant professor of biology in the department of natural sciences at Huston-Tillotson University. The article, Finding Joy Again: New Mothers Need Postpartum Mental Health Help, is intended to encourage new mothers to seek support for postpartum mental health issues and to spark dialogue and research. 


Johnson C. Smith University recognized several faculty members and staff using its annual Grantsmanship Awards. The event was hosted by the university’s Government Sponsored Programs and Research and the Office of Institutional Advancement.





Prairie View A&M University has launched the Epsilon Gamma Iota Inc. Innovation Hub for Student Success. The lab is designed to provide engineering students with professional materials and tools. The lab will also sponsor programs and host interdepartmental and interdisciplinary competitions. Epsilon Gamma Iota, Inc., is an engineering organization founded and led by Prairie View A&M University students.


Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute will collaborate with Leo Cancer Care on cutting edge cancer treatment options. The partners will test Leo Cancer Care’s innovative form of proton arc therapy, the Marie. The Marie allows proton arc therapy treatment to be delivered to a patient who is seated. The university will install the system in an existing fixed proton beam treatment room.


Johnson C. Smith University is partnering with Northeastern University’s Charlotte campus to help students earn their Bachelor of Nursing, Master of Public Health or Master of Applied Behavioral Analysis degrees. The program will provide the pre-health foundation necessary for students who want to transition to the advanced programs offered at Northeastern University.


Morris College will offer a summer program for high school seniors who are graduating this spring. Qualified participants can to earn up to nine college credits. The program includes tuition, room and board, books, and related fees and is offered on a first-come first-served basis.


Bluefield State University and West Virginia State University may soon be able to offer associate degrees. The state legislature is considering a bill that would make it possible for the HBCUs to bypass rules that prohibit four-year institutions from offering associate degrees.


Harris-Stowe State University has created a new separate college of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to help meet the demand of students and industry. Dr. Harvey Fields, Jr., will be the founding dean. STEM is the fastest growing degree field at Harris-Stowe State University. Dr. Fields is well known for advancing student success initiatives.





A Complete Ban on Non-Compete Restrictions could impact athletic programs. A new rule proposed by the Federal Trade Commission would prevent colleges and universities from stipulating that coaches or other athletic department employees agree neither to seek nor accept a similar position at another institution during their contract. Further, if the National Labor Relations Board rules to recognize student-athletes as employees, the rule could also apply to them.


Langston University announced it will extend the contract of basketball head coach Chris Wright for another four years. In addition to the team’s victories on the court, Coach Wright is credited with inspiring the team’s academic success. The contract must be ratified by the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents.


Wiley College announced head volleyball coach, Nancy Sikobe, was invited to be one of 50 participants in the 2023 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Governance and Leadership Academy. The academy provides leadership training for minority and female athletics administrators.


Florida A&M University named former professional wide receiver, Chad Johnson (Chad Ochocinco), ambassador and consultant for the athletics department. Johnson is probably best known for his celebrations in the end zone. He will participate in special projects.


 Xavier University of Louisiana tapped women’s volleyball head coach, Pat Kendrick, to serve as interim executive director of athletics and recreation. Coach Kendrick is the recipient of several awards including Louisiana Coach of the Year. 


Grambling State University will launch a national search for a head coach for women’s basketball. Coach Freddie Murray will no longer serve as head coach for the women’s basketball team. 


Southern University announced it will not renew the contract of Coach Sean Woods. Woods served as men’s head basketball couch for five years. The university has begun a search for a replacement.


Name Image and Likeness (NIL) software founders have raised $5,500,00 in seed funding for their company MOGL. The software as a service website enables athletes to view NIL branding opportunities free of charge. It also offers NCAA compliance monitoring for colleges and universities. Proceeds will be used to fund local athletic programs in underserved communities.


In a Dear Colleague letter, Federal Student Aid (FSA) noted that NIL compensation may be considered taxable income. FSA also pointed out that NIL compensation is not considered when calculating estimated financial assistance and that a dependent student-athlete may still have a zero estimated family contribution while receiving NIL compensation.

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Deadlines and Information


Both the public health emergency declared on January 31, 2020 and the national emergency declared on March 13, 2020 will end on May 11, 2023. Several waivers and flexibilities extended to colleges and universities will expire at the end of the payment period that begins after the date that the national emergency is rescinded. Institutions that intend to continue distance education programs launched during the pandemic, for example, may need approval from their accreditor after the pandemic ends


Student Loan Pause: The Department extended the pause in student loan repayment, interest, and collection. The extension will expire 60 days after the Supreme Court of the United States permits the Department to implement its debt relief programs or the litigation is otherwise resolved.


HEERF Extension: The Department announced an automatic extension of the performance period through June 30, 2023, for all open grants issued under the Higher Education emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) that have a balance greater than $1,000.


The deadline for the Campus-Based Reallocation Form designated for the return of 2022-23 funds is August 14, 2023.


The deadline to request supplemental FWS funds for the 2023-24 award year is August 14, 2023.


Work Colleges Program: The deadline to submit the Work Colleges Program Report of 2022-23 award year expenditures is September 29, 2023. The deadline to file the Institutional Application and Agreement for Participation in the Work Colleges Program for the 2024-25 award year for new applicants is November 1, 2023. For returning participants/applicants the deadline is March 4, 2024.


The deadline for Direct Loan closeout for the 2021–2022 program year is July 31, 2023. All data must be received and accepted by this date to be included in a school’s final ending cash balance for the year. Please note that cash management, disbursement reporting, and monthly reconciliation regulatory requirements supersede the closeout deadline. (announcement).


Perkins Loan Assignment: The deadline for purchasing or assigning Perkins Loans that have been in default for more than two years has been extended to June 30, 2023. All other conditions remain in effect. Institutions are advised to maintain records of collection efforts and consult the latest federal aid handbook.


The deadline to submit the 2022-2023 expenditure report on Financial Assistance for Students with Intellectual Disabilities is September 29, 2023.


The deadline for the FISAP is September 30, 2023.


The Department of Veterans Affairs announced an updated enrollment manager that replaces the former VA online certification of enrollment is available for school certifying officials.


2022-2023 Verification Waiver: ED extended the waiver of certain verification requirements for the 2022-2023 award year.


2023-2024 FAFSA Verification and Documentation: FSA published information in the Federal Register for 2023-2024 award year. It includes the policy for verification for incarcerated students.


Expected Family Contribution Guide: FSA posted the 2023-2024 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Guide.


Noncitizen Aid Eligibility: Special Immigrant Lawful Permanent Residents, Special Immigrant Conditional Permanent Residents, Special Immigrant Parolees, and Non-Special Immigrant Afghan Parolees are noncitizens eligible for federal student aid under Title IV. (See DHS-SAVE’s Fact Sheet or Volume 1, Chapter 2 of the Federal Student Aid Handbook for more information on eligible noncitizens.)


Application to Participate in Title IV: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the Fiscal Operations Report for 2021–22 and Application to Participate for 2023-24 (FISAP). Download the form, instructions, desk reference, and technical reference.


Audit Submission Extension for Major Disaster Areas: A six-month single audit submission extension is available to non-federal entity recipients that have due dates between September 18, 2022, and December 31, 2022, and are located in Puerto Rico, Alaska, Florida, South Carolina, or North Carolina. The extension covers the whole state but institutions in less affected areas are encouraged to submit their audits on time.








Event: Higher Learning Commission 2023 Annual Conference

Date: March 24-28, 2023 

Location: Chicago, IL

Information: Additional Details


Event: African American Board Leadership Institute

Date: March 30-April 15, 2023 

Location: Virtual

Information: Additional Details


Event: Texas HBCU Conference

Date: March 31-April 1, 2023

Location: Austin, TX

Information: Additional Details


Event: American Association of Community Colleges

Date: April 1-4, 2023

Location: Denver, CO

Information: Additional Details


Event: The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators

Date: April 1-5, 2023

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Information: Additional Details


Event: Council for Higher Education Accreditation

Date: April 5, 2023

Location: Online

Information: Additional Details


Event: ACE Annual Meeting

Date: April 13-15, 2023

Location: Washington, DC

Information: Additional Details





Virtual 2023 WPI HBCU & Small College Forum
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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.

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