Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
6 Months Ended
Oct. 31, 2016
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies

Note 8. Commitments and Contingencies

Line of Credit

In August 2016, the Company closed on a $3 million credit line with its largest shareholder. The credit line, whose terms include a 12% per annum interest rate on drawn funds and a 2% per annum interest rate on undrawn funds, will extend through August 2019.  The Company initially drew down $750,000 under the line, of which approximately $248,000 was used to repay a secured line of credit with a bank as noted below. Additionally, the Company paid a 2% origination fee of $60,000 and issued 750,000 common-stock warrants at an exercise price of $0.20 per share, which are redeemable by the Company if the closing price of its common stock averages at least $0.25 per share for 10 consecutive trading days.  The origination fee and $52,500 value of the 750,000 warrants (see note 11) were recorded as debt discounts to be amortized over the term of the line.  Amortization expense was $6,250 as of October 31, 2016.

The Company maintained a line of credit with a bank, up to a maximum credit line of $250,000.  In September 2016, the line of credit with the bank was paid and terminated.

Employment Agreements

From time to time, the Company enters into employment agreements with certain of its employees. These agreements typically include bonuses, some of which are performance-based in nature. As of October 31, 2016, no performance bonuses have been earned.

Legal Matters

On August 13, 2015, a former employee filed a complaint against the Company in the United States District Court, District of Arizona, for breach of contract claiming that Plaintiff was terminated for “Cause” when no cause existed. Plaintiff sought the remaining amounts under her employment agreement, severance pay, bonuses, value of lost benefits, and the loss of the value of her stock options. The Company filed an answer to the complaint by the September 8, 2015 deadline. That matter has been fully and finally settled for $69,000 as of June 2016 and has been dismissed. The Company accrued $87,500 in accordance with ASC 450-20-55-11 and is included in accrued expenses at April 30, 2016.  The amount owed was paid in the six months ended October 31, 2016.

Regulatory Matters

The Company’s subsidiary, Aspen University, is 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 Aspen University 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. Aspen University has had provisional certification to participate in the Title IV Programs. That provisional certification imposes certain regulatory restrictions including, but not limited to, a limit of 1,200 student recipients for Title IV funding for the duration of the provisional certification. The provisional certification restrictions continue with regard to Aspen University’s participation in Title IV Programs.

To participate in the Title IV Programs, an institution must be authorized to offer its programs of instruction by the relevant agencies of the State in which it is located. In addition, an institution must be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the DOE and certified as eligible by the DOE. The DOE will certify an institution to participate in the Title IV Programs only after the institution has demonstrated compliance with the HEA and the DOE’s extensive academic, administrative, and financial regulations regarding institutional eligibility and certification. An institution must also demonstrate its compliance with these requirements to the DOE on an ongoing basis. Aspen University performs periodic reviews of its compliance with the various applicable regulatory requirements. As Title IV funds received in fiscal 2016 represented approximately 28% of the Company's cash basis revenues (including revenues from discontinued operations), as calculated in accordance with Department of Education guidelines, the loss of Title IV funding would have a material effect on the Company's future financial performance.

On March 27, 2012 and on August 31, 2012, Aspen University provided the DOE with letters of credit for which the due date was extended to December 31, 2013. On January 30, 2014, the DOE provided Aspen University with an option to become permanently certified by increasing the letter of credit to 50% of all Title IV funds received in the last program year, equaling $1,696,445, or to remain provisionally certified by increasing the 25% letter of credit to $848,225. Aspen informed the DOE of its desire to remain provisionally certified and posted the $848,225 letter of credit for the DOE on April 14, 2014. On February 26, 2015, Aspen University was informed by the DOE that it again had the option to become permanently certified by increasing the letter of credit to 50% of all Title IV funds received in the last program year, equaling $2,244,971, or to remain provisionally certified by increasing the existing 25% letter of credit to $1,122,485. Aspen informed the DOE on March 3, 2015 of its desire to remain provisionally certified and post the $1,122,485 letter of credit for the DOE by April 30, 2015. In November of 2015, the DOE informed Aspen that they no longer need to post a letter of credit. It was subsequently released. The DOE may impose additional or different terms and conditions in any final provisional program participation agreement that it may issue.

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 Aspen University operates in a highly regulated industry, it 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.

On February 25, 2015, the DEAC informed Aspen University that it had renewed its accreditation for five years to January, 2019.

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 Department 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.

Subsequent to a program review by the Department of Education, the Company recognized that it had not fully complied with all requirements for calculating and making timely returns of Title IV funds (R2T4). In November 2013, the Company returned a total of $102,810 of Title IV funds to the Department of Education.

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. In July 2012, Aspen received notice from the Delaware DOE that it was granted provisional approval status effective until June 30, 2015. On April 25, 2016 the Delaware DOE informed Aspen University it was 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.