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On Monday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a precedential decision in Nguyen v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology et al. (SJC-12329), which addresses the complicated issue of higher education institutions’ responsibility to protect students at risk of suicide.
Our colleague Patricia Moran wrote an excellent post on our sister blog, Employment Matters. Moran notes that employers should consider changes to their compensation structures that will affect their employee benefit plans.
Please join us on September 29th at 1 pm ET as we cover the recently proposed 457(f) regulations. This one-hour webinar will offer employers more than just a summary of the rule.
Our colleague Dan Long recently contributed an article to Employment Matters titled, “National Labor Relations Board Grants Student Assistants the Right to Unionize at Private Colleges and Universities” that highlights the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling that student assistants have unionization and collective bargaining rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
Educational institutions should be aware of fraudulent request for payments from vendors. The FBI Boston Division identified three incidents over the past month where perpetrators submitted fraudulent transfer authorization forms to divert payments to Boston area colleges and universities. 
Introduced by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (H.R. 3179) is intended to improve financial aid counseling standards for students seeking federal student loans.

Choice is Knowledge: H.R. 3178

July 28, 2016| Blog

The Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act (H.R. 3178), introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), would modify consumer information disclosure requirements related to college costs and student characteristics in order to assist students in making informed decisions about where to pursue higher education.
The HBCU Capital Financing Improvement Act (H.R. 5530), introduced by Reps. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Bradley Byrne (R-AL), is intended to increase access to capital by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by making changes to the HBCU Capital Financing Program which provides low-cost capital to finance improvements to campus infrastructure at HBCUs.
The Accessing Higher Education Opportunities Act (H.R. 5529), introduced by Reps. Joe Heck (R-NV), Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX), and Raul Ruiz (D-CA), aims to help students who attend Hispanic-serving institutions access graduate-level and doctoral degree programs in health care.

Fear No FAFSA: H.R. 5528

July 8, 2016| Blog

The Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act (H.R. 5528), introduced by Reps. Joe Heck (R-NV), Phil Roe (R-TN), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Mark Pocan (D-WI), aims at helping students make timely financial decisions when preparing for college.
As much of the attention in Washington this week was concentrated on the sit-in by House Democrats over gun control legislation, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on June 22 approved by voice vote five bipartisan bills aimed at assisting students in choosing the right college or university, making the financial aid process fairer and more transparent, and supporting higher education institutions that serve minority students.
On June 23, 2016, in its second time hearing Fisher v. University of Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the affirmative action admissions program at the University of Texas at Austin. The Court held that the program is lawful under the Equal Protection Clause because it is narrowly tailored to achieving concrete, compelling goals tied to the educational benefits flowing from student body diversity.
Our colleague Tyrone Thomas was quoted in The New York Times article entitled, In 11 Missing Words, Some See Shift in NCAA Case Against UNC, in which he addresses the potential impact of the NCAA allegations against the University of North Carolina (UNC) for its alleged lack of institutional control pertaining to the supervision of the academic program for student athletes.
The NCAA scored a victory last week with the denial of class certification in an antitrust suit challenging the association’s former ban on multiyear scholarships (the “One Year Rule”) and its cap on scholarships (the “GIA Cap”). Plaintiff had alleged that those rules constituted a concerted effort by the NCAA and its member schools to thwart competition.
As an update to our recent post, the Massachusetts Senate took action on several important pieces of legislation that relate to higher education institutions and their students.  Below is a brief summary of the activity that occurred during the passage of these bills.
It is no secret that the salaries of coaches of high profile college programs are rising steadily. In a recent report listing the highest paid public employee for each of the fifty states, 40 were college coaches.
Two horrible March Madness brackets ago, we analyzed the myriad of legal and operational challenges that could change the face of intercollegiate athletics.
Recently, our colleagues Alden Bianchi and Edward Lenz contributed an article to Employment Matters entitled, “Staffing Firms, Educational Organizations, and Breaks-in-Service under the Affordable Care Act Employer Shared Responsibility Rules: Proposed Changes under Notice 2015-87.”
Next week, the Massachusetts Senate is likely to address legislation that will have an impact on higher education institutions in Massachusetts, their students and financial institutions extending loans to such students. 
In a recent article by our colleague Patricia Moran of Mintz Levin’s Employment Labor and Benefits practice, new light is shed regarding the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) effects on health insurance stipends provided to students at educational institutions.
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