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Feds Restrict Title IV Access for West Virginia Public Universities

July 25, 2017

The Department of Education has placed restrictions on access to federal student aid for West Virginia public universities after the state was late submitting required annual financial statements for the third year in a row. The restrictions, known as heightened cash monitoring, mean that for five years higher ed institutions in the state must disburse aid to students first and then ask the feds for reimbursement.

It's a rare move to apply those restrictions to public institutions, much less a whole state. West Virginia Governor Jim Justice promised last week that "heads will roll" when his office determines who is responsible for the late financial statements.

“There is going to be finger-pointing like crazy, but the only way to improve is to admit that something isn’t working,” he said in a statement. “I didn’t break it, but I’ll fix it. In the past our federal delegation was able to correct this, and I hope they can help me fix it again this year.”

West Virginia Senators Joe Manchin, a Democrat, and Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, along with members of the state's House delegation, expressed concern over the consequences of the restrictions to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a letter Friday.

“The people who will be harmed most by these sanctions are the low-income students who rely on federal financial assistance to attend college,” the lawmakers wrote.

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Andrew Kreighbaum

Andrew Kreighbaum joins Inside Higher Ed as our federal policy reporter. Andrew comes to us from The Investigative Reporting Workshop. He received his master's in data journalism at the University of Missouri, and has interned at USA Today and a national journalism institute in Columbia, MO. Before getting his master's, Andrew spent three years covering government and education at local papers in El Paso, McAllen and Laredo, Texas. He graduated in 2010 from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in history and was news editor at The Daily Texan.

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