A federal law the Education Department says it is using to investigate whether Penn State failed to report incidents of sexual abuse on campus is the same one the department used to investigate crimes at Virginia Tech and at Eastern Michigan universities.
A university in violation can lose its ability to offer federal student aid. That has never happened. But the department has levied a maximum fine per violation of $27,500. The fines can help put pressure on universities to improve.
The law is the Clery Act. It's named in honor of Jeanne Clery, a freshman at Lehigh University killed in her dorm room in 1986. Under it, universities must report the number of crimes on campus and provide warnings in a timely manner if safety is threatened.