Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Significant Accounting Policies

Significant Accounting Policies
3 Months Ended
Jul. 31, 2019
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Significant Accounting Policies

Note 2. Significant Accounting Policies

Principles of Consolidation

The unaudited consolidated financial statements include the accounts of AGI and its wholly-owned subsidiaries. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.

Use of Estimates

The preparation of the unaudited consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts in the consolidated financial statements. Actual results could differ from those estimates. Significant estimates in the accompanying unaudited consolidated financial statements include the allowance for doubtful accounts and other receivables, the valuation of collateral on certain receivables, estimates of the fair value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a business combination, amortization periods and valuation of courseware, intangibles and software development costs, estimates of the valuation of initial right of use assets and corresponding lease liabilities, valuation of beneficial conversion features in convertible debt, valuation of goodwill, valuation of loss contingencies, valuation of stock-based compensation and the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets.

Cash, Cash Equivalents, and Restricted Cash

For the purposes of the unaudited consolidated statements of cash flows, the Company considers all highly liquid investments with an original maturity of three months or less when purchased to be cash equivalents. There were no cash equivalents at July 31, 2019 and April 30, 2019.  The Company maintains its cash in bank and financial institution deposits that at times may exceed federally insured limits of $250,000 per financial institution. The Company has not experienced any losses in such accounts from inception through July 31, 2019.

As of July 31, 2019 and April 30, 2019, the Company maintained deposits totaling $7,323,630 and $9,359,208, respectively, held in two separate institutions greater than the federally insured limits.

Restricted cash was $452,021 as of July 31, 2019 and consisted of $122,262 which is collateral for a letter of credit issued by the bank and required under the USU facility operating lease. Also, included was $71,932 and an additional $257,827, which was collateral for a letter of credit issued by the bank and related to USU’s receipt of Title IV funds as required by DOE in connection with the change of control of USU. Restricted cash as of April 30, 2019 was $448,400.

Goodwill and Intangibles

Goodwill currently represents the excess of the purchase price of USU over the fair market value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed from Educacion Significativa, LLC. Goodwill has an indefinite life and is not amortized. Goodwill is tested annually for impairment.

Intangible assets represent both indefinite lived and definite lived assets. Accreditation, regulatory approvals, trade name and trademarks are deemed to have indefinite useful lives and accordingly are not amortized but are tested annually for impairment. Student relationships and curriculums are deemed to have definite lives and are amortized accordingly.

Fair Value Measurements

Fair value is the exchange price that would be received for an asset or paid to transfer a liability (an exit price) in the principal or most advantageous market for the asset or liability in an orderly transaction between market participants. The Company classifies assets and liabilities recorded at fair value under the fair value hierarchy based upon the observability of inputs used in valuation techniques. Observable inputs (highest level) reflect market data obtained from independent sources, while unobservable inputs (lowest level) reflect internally developed market assumptions. The fair value measurements are classified under the following hierarchy:

Level 1—Observable inputs that reflect quoted market prices (unadjusted) for identical assets and liabilities in active markets;

Level 2—Observable inputs, other than quoted market prices, that are either directly or indirectly observable in the marketplace for identical or similar assets and liabilities, quoted prices in markets that are not active, or other inputs that are observable or can be corroborated by observable market data for substantially the full term of the assets and liabilities; and

Level 3—Unobservable inputs that are supported by little or no market activity that are significant to the fair value of assets or liabilities.

The estimated fair value of certain financial instruments, including cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, accounts payable and accrued expenses are carried at historical cost basis, which approximates their fair values because of the short-term nature of these instruments.

Accounts Receivable and Allowance for Doubtful Accounts Receivable


All students are required to select both a primary and secondary payment option with respect to amounts due to Aspen for tuition, fees and other expenses. The monthly payment plan represents approximately 68% of the payments that are made by students, making it the most common payment type. In instances where a student selects financial aid as the primary payment option, he or she often selects personal cash as the secondary option. If a student who has selected financial aid as his or her primary payment option withdraws prior to the end of a course but after the date that Aspen’s institutional refund period has expired, the student will have incurred the obligation to pay the full cost of the course. If the withdrawal occurs before the date at which the student has earned 100% of his or her financial aid, Aspen may have to return all or a portion of the Title IV funds to the DOE and the student will owe Aspen all amounts incurred that are in excess of the amount of financial aid that the student earned, and that Aspen is entitled to retain. In this case, Aspen must collect the receivable using the student’s second payment option.

For accounts receivable from students, Aspen records an allowance for doubtful accounts for estimated losses resulting from the inability, failure or refusal of its students to make required payments, which includes the recovery of financial aid funds advanced to a student for amounts in excess of the student’s cost of tuition and related fees. Aspen determines the adequacy of its allowance for doubtful accounts using an allowance method based on an analysis of its historical bad debt experience, current economic trends, and the aging of the accounts receivable and each student’s status. Aspen estimates the amounts to increase the allowance based upon the risk presented by the age of the receivables and student status. Aspen writes off accounts receivable balances at the time the balances are deemed uncollectible. Aspen continues to reflect accounts receivable with an offsetting allowance as long as management believes there is a reasonable possibility of collection.

For accounts receivable from primary payors other than students, Aspen estimates its allowance for doubtful accounts by evaluating specific accounts where information indicates the customers may have an inability to meet financial obligations, such as bankruptcy proceedings and receivable amounts outstanding for an extended period beyond contractual terms. In these cases, Aspen uses assumptions and judgment, based on the best available facts and circumstances, to record a specific allowance for those customers against amounts due to reduce the receivable to the amount expected to be collected. These specific allowances are re-evaluated and adjusted as additional information is received. The amounts calculated are analyzed to determine the total amount of the allowance. Aspen may also record a general allowance as necessary.

Direct write-offs are taken in the period when Aspen has exhausted its efforts to collect overdue and unpaid receivables or otherwise evaluate other circumstances that indicate that Aspen should abandon such efforts. (See Note 8)

When a student signs up for the monthly payment plan, there is a contractual amount that the Company can expect to earn over the life of the student’s program. This contractual amount cannot be recorded as an accounts receivable because, the student does have the option to stop attending. As a student takes a class, revenue is earned over the class term. Some students accelerate their program, taking two or more classes every eight week period, which increases the student’s accounts receivable balance. If any portion of that balance will be paid in a period greater than 12 months, that portion is reflected as long-term accounts receivable. At July 31, 2019 and April 30, 2019, those balances were $4,249,969 and $3,085,243, respectively. The Company has determined that the long term accounts receivable do not constitute a significant financing component as the list price, cash selling price and promised consideration are equal.  Further, the interest free financing portion of the monthly payment plans are not considered significant to the contract.

Property and Equipment

Property and equipment are recorded at cost. Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the related assets per the following table.




Useful Life

Call center equipment


5 years

Computer and office equipment


5 years

Furniture and fixtures


7 years

Library (online)


3 years



5 years

Costs incurred to develop internal-use software during the preliminary project stage are expensed as incurred. Internal-use software development costs are capitalized during the application development stage, which is after: (i) the preliminary project stage is completed; and (ii) management authorizes and commits to funding the project and it is probable the project will be completed and used to perform the function intended. Capitalization ceases at the point the software project is substantially complete and ready for its intended use, and after all substantial testing is completed. Upgrades and enhancements are capitalized if it is probable that those expenditures will result in additional functionality. Depreciation is provided for on a straight-line basis over the expected useful life of five years of the internal-use software development costs and related upgrades and enhancements. When existing software is replaced with new software, the unamortized costs of the old software are expensed when the new software is ready for its intended use.

Leasehold improvements are amortized using the straight-line method over the shorter of the lease term or the estimated useful lives of the leasehold improvements.

Upon the retirement or disposition of property and equipment, the related cost and accumulated depreciation are removed and a gain or loss is recorded in the consolidated statements of operations. Repairs and maintenance costs are expensed in the period incurred.

Courseware and Accreditation

The Company records the costs of courseware and accreditation in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 350 “Intangibles - Goodwill and Other”.

Generally, costs of courseware creation and enhancement are capitalized. Accreditation renewal or extension costs related to intangible assets are capitalized as incurred. Courseware is stated at cost less accumulated amortization. Amortization is provided for on a straight-line basis over the expected useful life of five years.

Long-Lived Assets

The Company assesses potential impairment to its long-lived assets when there is evidence that events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Events and circumstances considered by the Company in determining whether the carrying value of identifiable intangible assets and other long-lived assets may not be recoverable include, but are not limited to: significant changes in performance relative to expected operating results, significant changes in the use of the assets, significant negative industry or economic trends, a significant decline in the Company’s stock price for a sustained period of time, and changes in the Company’s business strategy. An impairment loss is recorded when the carrying amount of the long-lived asset is not recoverable and exceeds its fair value. The carrying amount of a long-lived asset is not recoverable if it exceeds the sum of the undiscounted cash flows expected to result from the use and eventual disposition of the asset. Any required impairment loss is measured as the amount by which the carrying amount of a long-lived asset exceeds fair value and is recorded as a reduction in the carrying value of the related asset and an expense to operating results.

Refunds Due Students

The Company receives Title IV funds from the Department of Education to cover tuition and living expenses. After deducting tuition and fees, the Company sends checks for the remaining balances to the students.


The Company enters into various lease agreements in conducting its business. At the inception of each lease, the Company evaluates the lease agreement to determine whether the lease is an operating or capital lease. Leases may contain initial periods of free rent and/or periodic escalations. When such items are included in a lease agreement, the Company records rent expense on a straight-line basis over the initial term of a lease. The difference between the rent payment and the straight-line rent expense is recorded as additional amortization. The Company expenses any additional payments under its operating leases for taxes, insurance or other operating expenses as incurred.

The Company implemented ASU 2016-02 as of May 1, 2019.  There were no material changes to our unaudited consolidated financial statements other than additional assets and off-setting liabilities.

In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, of FASB, issued Accounting Standards Update, or ASU, No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842).  This standard requires entities to recognize most operating leases on their balance sheets as right-of-use assets with a corresponding lease liability, along with disclosing certain key information about leasing arrangements. The Company adopted the standard effective May 1, 2019 using the cumulative effect adjustment transition method, which applies the provisions of the standard at the effective date without adjusting the comparative periods presented.  The Company adopted the following practical expedients and elected the following accounting policies related to this standard:



Carry forward of historical lease classification;



Short-term lease accounting policy election allowing lessees to not recognize right-of-use assets and lease liabilities for leases with a term of 12 months or less; and



Not separate lease and non-lease components for office space and campus leases.

The adoption of this standard resulted in the recognition of operating lease right-of-use assets (“ROU’s”) and corresponding lease liabilities of approximately $8.0 million and $8.2 million, respectively on the unaudited Consolidated Balance Sheet as of July 31, 2019. There was no impact to the Company’s net income or liquidity as a result of the adoption of this ASU. Additionally, the standard did not materially impact the Company's unaudited consolidated statements of cash flows.

Disclosures related to the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases are included in Note 9.

Treasury Stock

Purchases and sales of treasury stock are accounted for using the cost method. Under this method, shares acquired are recorded at the acquisition price directly to the treasury stock account. Upon sale, the treasury stock account is reduced by the original acquisition price of the shares and any difference is recorded in equity. This method does not allow the company to recognize a gain or loss to income from the purchase and sale of treasury stock.

Revenue Recognition and Deferred Revenue

On May 1, 2018, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Codification 606 (ASC 606). ASC 606 is based on the principle that revenue is recognized to depict the transfer of goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. This ASC also requires additional disclosure about the nature, amount, timing, and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from customer purchase orders, including significant judgments. Our adoption of this ASC, resulted in no change to our results of operations or our balance sheet.

Revenues consist primarily of tuition and course fees derived from courses taught by the Company online as well as from related educational resources and services that the Company provides to its students. Under ASC 606, the tuition and course fee revenue is recognized pro-rata over the applicable period of instruction and are not considered separate performance obligations.  Non-tuition related revenue and fees are recognized as services are provided or when the goods are received by the student.  (See Note 8)

The Company had revenues from students outside the United States representing 1.48% and 1.9% of the revenues for the quarters ended July 31, 2019 and 2018 respectively.

Cost of Revenues

Cost of revenues consists of two categories, instructional costs and services, and marketing and promotional costs.

Instructional Costs and Services

Instructional costs and services consist primarily of costs related to the administration and delivery of the Company's educational programs. This expense category includes compensation costs associated with online faculty, technology license costs and costs associated with other support groups that provide services directly to the students and are included in cost of revenues.

Marketing and Promotional Costs

Marketing and promotional costs include costs associated with producing marketing materials and advertising. Such costs are generally affected by the cost of advertising media, the efficiency of the Company's marketing and recruiting efforts, and expenditures on advertising initiatives for new and existing academic programs. Non-direct response advertising activities are expensed as incurred, or the first time the advertising takes place, depending on the type of advertising activity. Total marketing and promotional costs were $2,209,239 and $2,187,456 for the fiscal quarters ended July 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively and are included in cost of revenues.

General and Administrative

General and administrative expenses include compensation of employees engaged in corporate management, finance, human resources, information technology, academic operations, compliance and other corporate functions. General and administrative expenses also include professional services fees, bad debt expense related to accounts receivable, financial aid processing costs, non-capitalizable courseware and software costs, travel and entertainment expenses and facility costs.

Legal Expenses

All legal costs for litigation are charged to expense as incurred.

Income Tax

The Company uses the asset and liability method to compute the differences between the tax basis of assets and liabilities and the related financial statement amounts. Valuation allowances are established, when necessary, to reduce deferred tax assets to the amount that more likely than not will be realized. The Company has deferred tax assets and liabilities that reflect the net tax effects of temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities for financial reporting purposes and the amounts used for income tax purposes. Deferred tax assets are subject to periodic recoverability assessments. Realization of the deferred tax assets, net of deferred tax liabilities, is principally dependent upon achievement of projected future taxable income.

The Company records a liability for unrecognized tax benefits resulting from uncertain tax positions taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. The Company accounts for uncertainty in income taxes using a two-step approach for evaluating tax positions. Step one, recognition, occurs when the Company concludes that a tax position, based solely on its technical merits, is more likely than not to be sustained upon examination. Step two, measurement, is only addressed if the position is more likely than not to be sustained. Under step two, the tax benefit is measured as the largest amount of benefit, determined on a cumulative probability basis, which is more likely than not to be realized upon ultimate settlement. The Company recognizes interest and penalties, if any, related to unrecognized tax benefits in income tax expense.

Stock-Based Compensation

Stock-based compensation expense is measured at the grant date of the award and is expensed over the requisite service period. For employee stock-based awards, the Company calculates the fair value of the award on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. Determining the fair value of stock-based awards at the grant date under this model requires judgment, including estimating volatility, employee stock option exercise behaviors and forfeiture rates. The assumptions used in calculating the fair value of stock-based awards represent the Company's best estimates, but these estimates involve inherent uncertainties and the application of management judgment. For non-employee stock-based awards, the Company has early adopted ASU 2018-07, which substantially aligns share based compensation for employees and non-employees.

Business Combinations

We include the results of operations of businesses we acquire from the date of the respective acquisition. We allocate the purchase price of acquisitions to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed at fair value. The excess of the purchase price of an acquired business over the amount assigned to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed is recorded as goodwill. We expense transaction costs associated with business combinations as incurred.

Net Loss Per Share

Net loss per share of common stock is based on the weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding during each period. Options to purchase 3,237,840 and 3,515,070 shares of common stock, warrants to purchase 687,292 and 650,847 shares of common stock, unvested restricted stock of 99,803 and 0, and $50,000 and $50,000 of convertible debt (convertible into 4,167 and 4,167 shares of common stock) were outstanding at July 31, 2019 and July 31, 2018, respectively, but were not included in the computation of diluted net loss per share because the effects would have been anti-dilutive. The options, warrants and convertible debt are considered to be common stock equivalents and are only included in the calculation of diluted earnings per share of common stock when their effect is dilutive.

Segment Information

The Company operates in one reportable segment as a single educational delivery operation using a core infrastructure that serves the curriculum and educational delivery needs of its online students regardless of geography. The Company's chief operating decision makers, its Chief Executive Officer and Chief Academic Officer, manage the Company's operations as a whole, and no revenue, expense or operating income information is evaluated by the chief operating decision makers on any component level.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

Financial Accounting Standards Board, Accounting Standard Updates which are not effective until after July 31, 2019, are not expected to have a significant effect on the Company’s consolidated financial position or results of operations.


ASU 2016-02 - In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02: “Leases (Topic 842)” whereby lessees will need to recognize almost all leases on their balance sheet as a right of use asset and a lease liability. This guidance is effective for interim and annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018. We completed our assessment of the new standard on our accounting policies and processes and adopted this guidance beginning May 2019 using a modified retrospective approach without restating prior comparative periods. The most significant impact primarily relates to our accounting for real estate leases and real estate subleases. The adoption of this guidance impacts the presentation of our financial condition and disclosures, but did not materially impact our results of operations. See Note 9 “Leases” for further information.