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GRAHAM HOLDINGS CO filed this Form 10-K on 02/23/2018
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or are in the warning zone and to prevent a loss of Title IV eligibility. This has caused Kaplan to eliminate or limit enrollments in certain educational programs at some of its schools; may result in the loss of student access to Title IV programs; and has had and may continue to have a material adverse effect on KHE’s revenues, operating income and cash flows.
Incentive Compensation. Under the ED’s incentive compensation rules, an institution participating in Title IV programs may not provide any commission, bonus or other incentive payment based directly or indirectly on success in securing enrollments or financial aid to any person or entity engaged in any student recruiting or admission activities or in making decisions regarding the awarding of Title IV funds. Kaplan has taken steps to comply fully with these rules and the related guidance. Among the actions taken, Kaplan revised its compensation plans for admissions personnel and eliminated enrollment results as a component in the determination of compensation. Kaplan believes that this change in its approach to recruiting has adversely impacted, and will continue to adversely impact, its enrollment rates, operating costs, business and results of operation. Kaplan cannot predict how the ED will interpret and enforce all aspects of the revised incentive compensation rule in the future.
The 90/10 Rule. Under regulations referred to as the 90/10 rule, an institution would lose its eligibility to participate in Title IV programs for a period of at least two fiscal years if the institution derives more than 90% of its receipts from Title IV programs, as calculated on a cash basis in accordance with the Higher Education Act and applicable ED regulations, in each of two consecutive fiscal years. An institution with Title IV receipts exceeding 90% for a single fiscal year would be placed on provisional certification and may be subject to other enforcement measures, including a potential requirement to submit to the ED a letter of credit under the borrower defense to repayment regulations that were scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2017, but were subsequently delayed. KU derived less than 74% and less than 77% of its receipts from Title IV programs in 2017 and 2016, respectively.
KU is taking various measures to reduce the percentage of its receipts attributable to Title IV funds, including modifying student payment options; emphasizing direct-pay and employer-paid education programs; encouraging students to evaluate carefully the amount of their Title IV borrowing; eliminating some programs; cash-matching; and developing and offering additional non-Title IV-eligible certificate preparation, professional development and continuing education programs. Kaplan has taken steps to ensure that revenue from programs acquired by KU is eligible to be counted in that campus’s 90/10 calculation. However, there can be no guarantee that the ED will not challenge the inclusion of revenue from any acquired program in KU’s 90/10 calculations or will not issue an interpretation of the 90/10 rule that would exclude such revenue from the calculation. There can be no guarantee that these measures will be adequate to prevent the 90/10 ratio at KU from exceeding 90% in the future. In addition, certain legislators have proposed amendments to the Higher Education Act that would lower the threshold percentage in the 90/10 rule to 85%, treat non-Title IV federal funds as Title IV funds in the 90/10 calculation and make other refinements to the calculation. If these proposals or similar laws or regulations are adopted, they would make it more difficult for KU’s institutions to comply with the 90/10 rule.
Change of Control. If an institution experiences a change of control, such as the proposed transfer of KU, under the standards of applicable state agencies, accrediting agencies or the ED, the institution must seek the approval of the relevant agencies. An institution that undergoes a change of control, which may include a change of control of the institution’s parent corporation or other owners, must be reviewed and recertified by the ED and obtain approvals from certain state agencies and accrediting bodies, in some cases prior to the change of control. The standards pertaining to a change of control are not uniform and are subject to interpretation by the respective agencies. Certifications obtained from the ED following a change of control are granted on a provisional basis that permits the institution to continue participating in Title IV programs, but provides fewer procedural protections than full certifications. As a result, the ED may withdraw an institution’s provisional certification more easily than if it is fully certified. In addition, the ED may subject an institution on provisional certification status to greater scrutiny in some instances, for example, when it applies for approval to add a new location or program or makes another substantive change. As noted above, the proposed transfer of KU is subject to regulatory approval by the ED, HLC, and certain other agencies.
Standards of Financial Responsibility. An institution participating in Title IV programs must maintain a certain level of financial responsibility as determined under the Higher Education Act and under ED regulations. The ED measures an institution’s financial responsibility by compiling a composite score, ranging from -0.1 to 3.0, pursuant to a formula that incorporates various financial data from annual financial statements submitted to the ED. An institution with a composite score of 1.5 or higher passes the composite test. An institution with a composite score of at least 1.0 and less than 1.5 is in the warning zone. If an institution’s composite score is in the warning zone and the institution complies with other financial responsibility standards, the ED typically permits the institution to continue participating in the Title IV programs under certain conditions, including imposing certain monitoring and reporting requirements, placing the institution on provisional certification and transferring the institution from the advance system of Title IV payment to a heightened cash-monitoring or reimbursement system of payment. An institution fails the composite score test with a score of less than 1.0. The ED may permit such institutions to continue participating in the Title IV programs under the aforementioned conditions and potentially other conditions, as well as a requirement to submit to the ED a letter of credit in an amount equal to at least 10% of the annual Title