Skip navigation

Compliance and Ethics

Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)

Page Content


Compliance with HEOA
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) requires that universities make available to current and prospective students important information concerning each institution’s academic programs, retention rates, graduation rates, crime reports, financial aid procedures and much more in an effort to ensure fairness and transparency for all higher education consumers.  It was enacted on August 14, 2008, reauthorizing the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Higher Education Act of 1965

Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on November 8, 1965, the Higher Education Act aimed to enhance the means available to higher education institutions to assist them in financially assisting students with the underlying aim being to increase the number of students able to pursue higher education. 

Reauthorized through Federal negotiated rulemaking, the Act was initially reauthorized in 1972 thereby leading to the establishment of the Pell Grant as a means of providing needs-based aid for students from both mid and lower income ranges. In addition to providing financial aid, the Act also requires institutions to conduct federal reporting of institutional data and disclosure information to consumers across a variety of areas.

How to Access Disclosures

To comply with our disclosure obligations, The University of Southern Mississippi Office of Financial Aid has developed a webpage to serve as the portal for obtaining consumer information about our institution.

This data can be used as a resource to identify important university information such as our academic programs, retention rates, crime reports, financial aid procedures, and more:

Helpful Third Party Links

U.S. Department of Education HEOA
Department of Education August 13, 2008, Dear Colleague Letter