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
__________________________________________ PRCN: 199510900006
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).
July 29, 1996
Frank K. Krueger, Jr.
S E R V I C E
S. Dawn Scaniffe, Esq.
Office of the General Counsel
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202