Commitments and Contingencies
|3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2012
|Notes to Financial Statements
|Commitments and Contingencies
Line of Credit
The Company maintains a line of credit with a bank, up to a maximum credit line of $250,000. The line of credit bears interest equal to the prime rate plus 0.50% (overall interest rate of 3.75% at March 31, 2012). The line of credit requires minimum monthly payments consisting of interest only. The line of credit is secured by all business assets, inventory, equipment, accounts, general intangibles, chattel paper, documents, instruments and letter of credit rights of the Company. The line of credit is for an unspecified time until the bank notifies the Company of the Final Availability Date, at which time payments on the line of credit become the sum of: (a) accrued interest and (b) 1/60th of the unpaid principal balance immediately following the Final Availability Date. The balance due on the line of credit as of March 31, 2012 was $227,446. Since the earliest the line of credit is due and payable is over a five year period and the Company believes that it could obtain a comparable replacement line of credit elsewhere, the entire line of credit is included in long-term liabilities. The unused amount under the line of credit available to the Company at March 31, 2012 was $22,554.
From time to time, we may be involved in litigation relating to claims arising out of our operations in the normal course of business. As of March 31, 2012, there were no pending or threatened lawsuits that could reasonably be expected to have a material effect on the results of our operations.
There are no proceedings in which any of our directors, officers or affiliates, or any registered or beneficial shareholder, is an adverse party or has a material interest adverse to our interest.
The University is subject to extensive regulation by Federal and State governmental agencies and accrediting bodies. In particular, the HEA and the regulations promulgated thereunder by the DOE subject the 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. The 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 500 student recipients for Title IV funding for the duration of the provisional certification. During 2011, the Universitys provisional certification was scheduled to expire, but the University timely filed its application for recertification with the DOE, which extended the term of the Universitys certification pending DOE review. The provisional certification restrictions continue with regard to the Universitys 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, and since July 2011, potentially in the States where an institution offers postsecondary education through distance education. 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 DOEs 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. The University performs periodic reviews of its compliance with the various applicable regulatory requirements. If we were ineligible to receive Title IV funding, given Title IV cash receipts represented approximately 7% of total revenues in 2011, our operations and liquidity would be minimally impacted.
As a result of certain events in 2012, the Company has been requested by DOE to provide a letter of credit in the amount of $105,865, which is 10% of Aspens Title IV receipts in 2011, by March 28, 2012. On March 27, 2012, the Company provided the DOE with the requested letter of credit expiring March 28, 2013. The DOE may impose additional terms and conditions in any temporary provisional program participation agreement that it may issue pending review of Aspens application for approval of the change in ownership and control that resulted from the merger with Aspen Group, Inc. on March 13, 2012. Furthermore, DOE may impose additional or different terms and conditions in any final provisional program participation agreement that it may issue after it reviews Aspens application for approval of the change in ownership and control.
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 the Company 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.
Delaware Approval to Confer Degrees
Aspen 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. Aspen did not obtain such approval. An application to the State of Delaware has been made and we are awaiting a final decision. Aspen is authorized by the Colorado Commission on Education to operate in Colorado as a degree granting institution.