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  • Report:  #380

Complaint Review: Al COllins Graphic Designs - Tempe Arizona

Reported By:
-
Submitted:
Sun, April 11, 1999
Updated:
Sun, April 11, 1999

Al COllins Graphic Designs
1140 South Priest Drive Tempe, 85281 Arizona, U.S.A.
Web:
N/A
Categories:
Arts and Crafts

I noted a report filed against this school, and then happened to

file this court case judgement against them on the internet at the

following link.

http://www.ed-oha.org/cases/1996-62-sp.html

Below is a plain text version of the decision....

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20202

_________________________________________

In the Matter of Docket No. 96-62-SP

AL COLLINS GRAPHIC DESIGN SCHOOL, Student Financial

Assistance

Proceeding

Respondent.

__________________________________________ PRCN: 199510900006

Appearances:

Ralph H. Vieau, President, Al Collins Graphic Design School,

Tempe, Arizona, for

Respondent.

S. Dawn Scaniffe, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, United

States Department of

Education, Washington, D.C., for Student Financial Assistance

Programs.

Before:

Frank K. Krueger, Jr., Administrative Judge.

DECISION

The Respondent appealed Finding # 8 of the Final Program Review

Determination (FPRD)

issued by the Student Financial Assistance Programs (SFAP), U.S.

Department of Education

(ED), on March 27, 1996. The finding concerns the alleged failure of

the Respondent to

collect the necessary documentation to verify that Student # 6 was

registered with the

Selective Service System. SFAP contends that Respondent must return

to ED $1,200.00 in

Pell Grant funds disbursed to this student. For the reasons provided

below, I agree with

SFAP.

Discussion and Findings

Respondent makes no effort to contest the facts as put forth in

the FPRD. Student # 6 was

required by Federal law to register with the Selective Service

System. Student # 6 began his

program of study at the Al Collins Graphic Design School on June 8,

1992. On June 20, 1992,

Respondent received an Electronic Student Aid Report indicating that

the Selective Service

System was unable to verify that Student # 6 was registered with the

Selective Service

System. On August 3, 1992, Student # 6 withdrew from the

institution. Sometime in August

1992, Student # 6 signed a statement in the Electronic Student Aid

Report certifying that he

was registered with the Selective Service System.See footnote 11

Again, sometime between

June 8, 1992, when Student # 6 began his program of study, and

August 3, 1992, when he

withdrew, Respondent awarded $1,200.00 in Pell funds to Student #

6.See footnote 22

Under 34 C.F.R. 668.7(a)(8) (1992), a student is not eligible

to receive student financial

assistance under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as

amended, unless the student

has filed a Statement of Selective Service Registration Status in

accordance with 34 C.F.R.

668.33 (1992). Under 668.33 (a)(1), a participating institution

may not disburse Title IV

funds to any student until such a Statement is filed. The Statement

shall certify either that the

student is registered with the Selective Service System or that, for

a specified reason, the

student is not required to register. An institution may waive the

requirement that a student file

a Statement of Selective Service Registration Status if the

institution determines, based on

clear and unambiguous evidence, that the student is not required

to register. Id. at

668.33(b). However, any waiver is at the institution's peril since

it may be liable for any

funds disbursed if it is ultimately determined that its waiver was

not reasonable in light of all

available information. Id. at 668.33(f). Similarly, an institution

may disburse assistance to a

student who has submitted the required Registration Statement from a

student who is required

to register with the Selective Service System, but who has not

registered, if the institution had

information which conflicts with the student's Statement, and

acceptance of the Statement was

not reasonable in light of all available information. Id. at

66.33(g).

In the case at hand, Respondent may have disbursed the Pell

Grant funds before it received

Student # 6's Registration Statement, which would be a clear

violation of 34 C.F.R.

668.7(a)(8) and 668.33(a)(1). However, since it is unclear as to

when the Pell Funds were

actually distributed, and it is unclear as to the exact day in

August when Student #6 signed the

Registration Statement on the Electronic Student Aid Report, there

is the possibility that the

Pell funds where distributed after Respondent's receipt of the

Statement and before the student

withdrew from the institution on August 3, 1992 -- i.e. August 2,

1992. Notwithstanding this

possibility, Respondent would still be in violation of 34 C.F.R.

668.33 since, as noted

above, 668.33(g) provides that an institution is liable for any

Title IV aid awarded to a

student who has submitted a Registration Statement indicating that

the student was registered

with the Selective Service when the student was not registered and

acceptance of the student's

Statement was not reasonable in light of the conflicting information

in the institution's

possession.

Although the Respondent acknowledged that the Selective Service

could not confirm the

student's registration, its defense is that data match problems

were not unusual during 1992-

93, and reliance on the student's certification was reasonable.

Respondent makes no effort to

discuss or define the so-called data match problems which are

cryptically mentioned in its

submission or otherwise offer any evidence in support of its

position. In light of the evidence

in the record, I find that Respondent's Pell Grant award to Student

#6 was unreasonable and in

violation of 34 C.F.R. 66.33 (1992).

Order

ORDERED, that Respondent pay ED $1,200.00.

July 29, 1996

_____________________________

Frank K. Krueger, Jr.

Administrative Judge

_________________

S E R V I C E

__________________

A copy of the attached initial decision was sent to the

following by registered mail, return

receipt requested:

Ralph H. Vieau, President

Al Collins Graphic Design School

1140 South Priest Drive

Tempe, AZ 85281

S. Dawn Scaniffe, Esq.

Office of the General Counsel

U.S. Department of Education

600 Independence Ave., S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20202

Footnote: 1 1 The day of Student # 6's signature is unclear (it

could be August 2, 3, 21, or

31), but the month and year are clear. See ED Exhibit 2-1.

Footnote: 2 2 As with the date of the signature on the Electronic

Student Aid Report, the

record does not reveal the precise date that the Pell funds at issue

were disbursed.



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