Dept. Names More Than 550 Colleges It Has Put Under Extra Financial Scrutiny

The U.S. Department of Education … released the names of the more than 550 colleges required to operate under more restrictive conditions and extra scrutiny because of concerns about their management or administration of federal financial-aid dollars.

The department’s extra scrutiny, known as heightened cash monitoring, “is not necessarily a red flag to students and taxpayers, but it can serve as a caution light,” Ted Mitchell, the under secretary of education, said in a written statement.

The department released the information following a report last week by Inside Higher Ed, which had filed an open-records request last summer seeking the names of the colleges on the list. That request was denied, and the department then failed to respond to the publication’s November appeal of that decision.

Of the 556 colleges on the list as of March 1, 69 face the stricter form of heightened cash monitoring known as HCM 2. Institutions under that level of scrutiny must first disburse to students the loans and grant money that they are entitled to, and must then provide detailed information on each recipient before being reimbursed by the department. The 69 institutions on the HCM-2 list include six public universities, 18 private nonprofit colleges, and 39 for-profit colleges in the United States, plus six institutions overseas. <Read more.>

Via Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education.