In the Matter of Docket No. 97-114-SP
JETT COLLEGE OF COSMETOLOGY Student Financial
AND BARBERING, Assistance Proceeding
PRCN: 199- 640412876
Appearances: Glenn Bogart, of Higher Education Compliance Consulting, Birmingham,
Alabama, for Jett College of Cosmetology.
Jennifer Woodward, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, United States
Department of Education, Washington, D.C., for Student Financial Assistance
Before: Judge Ernest C. Canellos
On October 23, 1997, Jett submitted a letter addressed to the undersigned stating that the
institution cannot afford to file a brief in this case. Although the institution did not state that
its inability to file a brief in support of its challenge to the findings of the FPRD amounted to its
withdrawal of its appeal, the fact that it is unable to substantiate its position that the findings of
the FPRD are incorrect or improper ostensibly requires me to review the record as it is. After
careful review of the record, including the documents submitted by Jett in its request for review
of the FPRD, I find that the institution has failed to carry its burden of proof.
It is well established that in Subpart H -- audit and program review -- proceedings, the institution
has the burden of proof. 34 C.F.R. ' 668.116(d). Consequently, to sustain its burden the
institution must establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Title IV funds were lawfully
disbursed. See In re National Training, Inc., Dkt. No. 93-98-SA, U.S. Dep=t of Educ. (October
18, 1995). It is abundantly clear that under the circumstances of this case, Jett has not met its
burden. In this regard, I note that although the institution filed several documents along with its
request for an administrative hearing, these documents are not probative of the allegations
contained in the FPRD.
According to the institution's letter, which accompanied the documents submitted to
SFAP, the documents represent a file review as requested by SFAP. However, the institution did
not offer any explanation regarding what probative relevance these documents have in rebutting
the findings of the FPRD. For example, the FPRD alleges that the institution certified Title IV
loans to 43 students who enrolled in the institution at an ineligible location. Nothing in the
documents submitted by the institution directly disputes this allegation or otherwise relates to the
resolution of this allegation. Indeed, I find that the documents, without more, have no apparent
probative relevance to the findings in the FPRD.
In accordance with my obligation to regulate the course of this proceeding and the
conduct of the parties, I have the authority and the discretion to terminate the hearing process and
issue a decision against the institution if it, through neglect or otherwise, fails to prosecute its
appeal of the FPRD. See, 34 C.F.R. § 668.117(c)(3). As such, I find that the institution's failure
to file a brief warrants the termination of this proceeding. More importantly, however, after a
review of the record and the documents attached to the institution's request for review, I find that
the institution failed to carry its burden of proof. Additionally, I am convinced that the findings
contained in the FPRD sufficiently state allegations in a manner that demonstrate the existence of
a prima facie showing that the institution failed to comply with Title IV program requirements
as determined therein.
On the basis of the foregoing findings of fact and conclusions of law, it is HEREBY ORDERED that the hearing process initiated pursuant to the institution's request for a hearing is TERMINATED. It is FURTHER ORDERED that Jett College of Cosmetology and Barbering pay to the United States Department of Education the sum of $146,794 and pay $181,342 to the current holders of Title IV loans consistent with the determinations contained in the FPRD and in the manner as required by law.
Ernest C. Canellos
Dated: November 14, 1997