20 U.S. Code § 1099c–1 - Program review and data

(a) General authorityIn order to strengthen the administrative capability and financial responsibility provisions of this subchapter, the Secretary
(1)
shall provide for the conduct of program reviews on a systematic basis designed to include all institutions of higher education participating in programs authorized by this subchapter;
(2) shall give priority for program review to institutions of higher education that are—
(A)
institutions with a cohort default rate for loans under part B of this subchapter in excess of 25 percent or which places such institutions in the highest 25 percent of such institutions;
(B)
institutions with a default rate in dollar volume for loans under part B of this subchapter which places the institutions in the highest 25 percent of such institutions;
(C)
institutions with a significant fluctuation in Federal Stafford Loan volume, Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loan volume, or Federal Pell Grant award volume, or any combination thereof, in the year for which the determination is made, compared to the year prior to such year, that are not accounted for by changes in the Federal Stafford Loan program, the Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loan program, or the Pell Grant program, or any combination thereof;
(D)
institutions reported to have deficiencies or financial aid problems by the State licensing or authorizing agency, or by the appropriate accrediting agency or association;
(E)
institutions with high annual dropout rates; and
(F)
such other institutions that the Secretary determines may pose a significant risk of failure to comply with the administrative capability or financial responsibility provisions of this subchapter; and
(3) shall establish and operate a central data base of information on institutional accreditation, eligibility, and certification that includes—
(A)
all relevant information available to the Department;
(B)
all relevant information made available by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs;
(C)
all relevant information from accrediting agencies or associations;
(D)
all relevant information available from a guaranty agency; and
(E)
all relevant information available from States under subpart 1 of this part.
(b) Special administrative rulesIn carrying out paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) and any other relevant provisions of this subchapter, the Secretary shall—
(1)
establish guidelines designed to ensure uniformity of practice in the conduct of program reviews of institutions of higher education;
(2)
make available to each institution participating in programs authorized under this subchapter complete copies of all review guidelines and procedures used in program reviews;
(3)
permit the institution to correct or cure an administrative, accounting, or recordkeeping error if the error is not part of a pattern of error and there is no evidence of fraud or misconduct related to the error;
(4)
base any civil penalty assessed against an institution of higher education resulting from a program review or audit on the gravity of the violation, failure, or misrepresentation;
(5)
inform the appropriate State and accrediting agency or association whenever the Secretary takes action against an institution of higher education under this section, section 1099c of this title, or section 1082 of this title;
(6)
provide to an institution of higher education an adequate opportunity to review and respond to any program review report and relevant materials related to the report before any final program review report is issued;
(7) review and take into consideration an institution of higher education’s response in any final program review report or audit determination, and include in the report or determination—
(A)
a written statement addressing the institution of higher education’s response;
(B)
a written statement of the basis for such report or determination; and
(C)
a copy of the institution’s response; and
(8)
maintain and preserve at all times the confidentiality of any program review report until the requirements of paragraphs (6) and (7) are met, and until a final program review is issued, other than to the extent required to comply with paragraph (5), except that the Secretary shall promptly disclose any and all program review reports to the institution of higher education under review.
(c) Data collection rules

The Secretary shall develop and carry out a plan for the data collection responsibilities described in paragraph (3) of subsection (a). The Secretary shall make the information obtained under such paragraph (3) readily available to all institutions of higher education, guaranty agencies, States, and other organizations participating in the programs authorized by this subchapter.

(d) Training

The Secretary shall provide training to personnel of the Department, including criminal investigative training, designed to improve the quality of financial and compliance audits and program reviews conducted under this subchapter.

(e) Special rule

The provisions of section 3403(b) of this title shall not apply to Secretarial determinations made regarding the appropriate length of instruction for programs measured in clock hours.

(Pub. L. 89–329, title IV, § 498A, as added Pub. L. 102–325, title IV, § 499, July 23, 1992, 106 Stat. 652; amended Pub. L. 103–208, § 2(i)(15), Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2480; Pub. L. 105–244, title IV, § 494, Oct. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1763; Pub. L. 110–315, title IV, § 497, Aug. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 3328.)
Amendments

2008—Subsec. (b)(6) to (8). Pub. L. 110–315 added pars. (6) to (8).

1998—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 105–244, § 494(1)(A)(i), substituted “shall” for “may” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (a)(2)(C). Pub. L. 105–244, § 494(1)(A)(ii), amended subpar. (C) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (C) read as follows: “institutions with a significant fluctuation in Federal Stafford Loan volume or Federal Pell Grant awards, or both, in the year for which the determination is made compared to the year prior to such year;”.

Subsec. (a)(2)(D). Pub. L. 105–244, § 494(1)(A)(iii), amended subpar. (D) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (D) read as follows: “institutions reported to have deficiencies or financial aid problems by the appropriate State postsecondary review entity designated under subpart 1 of this part or by the appropriate accrediting agency or association;”.

Subsec. (a)(2)(E). Pub. L. 105–244, § 494(1)(A)(iv), inserted “and” after the semicolon.

Subsec. (a)(2)(F), (G). Pub. L. 105–244, § 494(1)(A)(v), added subpar. (F) and struck out former subpars. (F) and (G) which read as follows:

“(F) any institution which is required to be reviewed by a State postsecondary review entity pursuant to subpart 1 of this part under section 1099a–3(b) of this title; and

“(G) such other institutions as the Secretary deems necessary; and”.

Subsec. (a)(3)(A). Pub. L. 105–244, § 494(1)(B), inserted “relevant” after “all”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 105–244, § 494(2), amended heading and text of subsec. (b). Prior to amendment, text read as follows:

“(1) In carrying out paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall establish guidelines designed to ensure uniformity of practice in the conduct of program reviews of institutions of higher education.

“(2) The Secretary shall review the regulations of the Department and the application of such regulations to ensure the uniformity of interpretation and application of the regulations.”

1993—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 103–208 struck out comma after “title”.

Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 105–244 effective Oct. 1, 1998, except as otherwise provided in Pub. L. 105–244, see section 3 of Pub. L. 105–244, set out as a note under section 1001 of this title.

Effective Date of 1993 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–208 effective as if included in the Higher Education Amendments of 1992, Pub. L. 102–325, except as otherwise provided, see section 5(a) of Pub. L. 103–208, set out as a note under section 1051 of this title.