U.S. Department of Education Increases Fine for Clery Act Violations

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”) requires postsecondary institutions participating in Title IV student financial assistance programs to annually disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid (“the Department”) enforces the Clery Act through program reviews, which may be initiated by a complaint, significant media events, or a review selection process.

The Department may impose civil monetary penalties for violations of the Clery Act. While these monetary penalties were initially set at $25,000 per violation, this amount has increased since the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 required federal agencies to make annual inflation adjustments. The purpose of the annual inflation adjustments is to ensure civil monetary penalties continue to deter future violations.

Effective January 25, 2024, the maximum Clery Act civil monetary penalty will be $69,733 per violation. This is a 3.1% increase from the 2023 penalty, which was $67,544. The 2024 adjusted penalty amount applies only to civil penalties assessed after January 25, 2024, for violations that occurred after November 2, 2015.

In determining the specific amount to assess an institution, the Department considers the size of the institution and the gravity of the violation. In past program reviews, the Department has frequently assessed civil monetary penalties for the following Clery Act violations:

  • failing to properly disclose crime statistics,
  • failing to include required policy statements within the Annual Security Report,
  • failing to produce and distribute a complete and accurate Annual Security Report,
  • failure to properly maintain a crime log,
  • failing to issue timely warnings,
  • lack of administrative capability.

Clery Act compliance is not only complex, but it is ongoing throughout the year. Some immediate steps you can take are:

  1. Start drafting your Annual Security Report. Don’t wait until the October 1st deadline approaches. Beginning early allows ample time to ensure you include every required component.
  2. Review your policies and procedures. Do they comply with the Clery Act? Are they being implemented properly?
  3. Finalize your 2023 crime statistics. Have you requested reports from your Campus Security Authorities and local law enforcement agencies? Don’t forget about your non-campus buildings and properties! Requesting this information now gives you time to obtain any needed clarification.

Blog by ICS’ newest team member, Lindsay Hatzis.