This study of the California Nonprofit Integrity Act (CNIA) modeled on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) demonstrates how a similar mandate may drive up costs for private higher education. Imposition of SOX on public corporations has caused an increase in accounting, auditing, and reporting costs for these corporations. While nonprofit organizations are exempt from SOX, the potential for similar legislation applicable to them grows as questions arise about the integrity and professionalism of management in that sector. Audit fee data from each of 64 private, nonprofit colleges in California collected for the five years before and after the implementation of CNIA demonstrates a rise of audit fees in California compared to data collected from colleges in Pennsylvania, which has no similar mandate. For some higher education institutions, an increase in costs caused by a new legislative regimen could be disastrous, as many of these institutions depend almost entirely upon tuition, fees, and gift revenue for their financial well-being. Such unintended consequences, and the costs and benefits of such legislation, should be considered if future legislatures consider passage of similar acts.