Commitments and Contingencies
|9 Months Ended|
Jan. 31, 2020
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|Commitments and Contingencies||Commitments and Contingencies
The Company’s subsidiaries, Aspen University and USU, are subject to extensive regulation by federal and state governmental agencies and accrediting bodies. In particular, the Higher Education Act (the “HEA”) and the regulations promulgated thereunder by the DOE subject the subsidiaries to significant regulatory scrutiny on the basis of numerous standards that schools must satisfy to participate in the various types of federal student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the HEA.
On August 22, 2017, the DOE informed Aspen University of its determination that the institution has qualified to participate under the HEA and the Federal student financial assistance programs (Title IV, HEA programs) and set a subsequent program participation agreement reapplication date of March 31, 2021.
USU currently has provisional certification to participate in the Title IV Programs due to its acquisition by the Company. The provisional certification allows the school to continue to receive Title IV funding as it did prior to the change of ownership.
The HEA requires accrediting agencies to review many aspects of an institution's operations in order to ensure that the education offered is of sufficiently high quality to achieve satisfactory outcomes and that the institution is complying with accrediting standards. Failure to demonstrate compliance with accrediting standards may result in the imposition of probation, the requirements to provide periodic reports, the loss of accreditation or other penalties if deficiencies are not remediated.
Because our subsidiaries operate in a highly regulated industry, each may be subject from time to time to audits, investigations, claims of noncompliance or lawsuits by governmental agencies or third parties, which allege statutory violations, regulatory infractions or common law causes of action.
Return of Title IV Funds
An institution participating in Title IV Programs must correctly calculate the amount of unearned Title IV Program funds that have been disbursed to students who withdraw from their educational programs before completion and must return those unearned funds in a timely manner, no later than 45 days of the date the school determines that the student has withdrawn. Under the DOE regulations, failure to make timely returns of Title IV Program funds for 5% or more of students sampled on the institution's annual compliance audit in either of its two most recently completed fiscal years can result in the institution having to post a letter of credit in an amount equal to 25% of its required Title IV returns during its most recently completed fiscal year. If unearned funds are not properly calculated and returned in a timely manner, an institution is also subject to monetary liabilities or an action to impose a fine or to limit, suspend or terminate its participation in Title IV Programs.
Delaware Approval to Confer Degrees
Aspen University is a Delaware corporation. Delaware law requires an institution to obtain approval from the Delaware Department of Education (“Delaware DOE”) before it may incorporate with the power to confer degrees. The Delaware DOE granted full approval to operate with degree-granting authority in the State of Delaware until July 1, 2020. Aspen University is authorized by the Colorado Commission on Education to operate in Colorado as a degree granting institution.
USU is also a Delaware corporation and received initial approval from the Delaware DOE to confer degrees through June 2023.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef