Tuition Assistance Program - Higher Education Services Corporation

 

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Office of the New York State Comptroller

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Tuition Assistance Program - Higher Education Services Corporation
The New School (Issued 9/27/12)


Purpose
To determine whether The New School management complied with the Education Law and the Commissioner of Education’s Rules and Regulations when certifying students for State-funded Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) awards. 

Background
The New School is an independent, nonprofit, coeducational institution of higher education, founded in 1919.  Originally devoted to exploring the pressing social, political, and economic problems of the day, the New School has expanded its focus and offers programs in the visual and performing arts, liberal arts, social sciences, and management and urban policy.  In addition to its main campus in Greenwich Village, the school has instruction sites throughout Manhattan. With current enrollment of approximately 10,500 students, tuition fees are per credit or on a semester basis, depending on the school. Schools charge from $970 to $1,645 per credit, while the semester rate is about $18,000. TAP is an entitlement program designed to provide funds to cover tuition costs for eligible students.  Schools receiving TAP payments must certify student eligibility. For the three academic years ended June 30, 2009, The New School certified 2,871 TAP awards totaling nearly $4.7 million.  We reviewed a random sample of 150 TAP awards from that period, as well as other awards outside the three-year period that came to our attention during the audit.  

Key Findings

  • We determined that The New School was overpaid $245,653 because school officials incorrectly certified students as eligible for TAP awards. 
  • Incorrect certifications include six students who received awards but did not meet the requirements for maintaining good academic standing; six students who had not been fully credited with their TAP awards; two students who did not meet residency requirements; three students who did not meet the requirements for matriculation; two students whose tuition charges had been overcertified; and one student who did not meet the requirements for full-time attendance.

Key Recommendations

  • The Higher Education Services Corporation should recover $245,653 plus applicable interest, from The New School for its incorrect TAP certifications and ensure that school officials comply with the requirements related to certifying accurate tuition amounts, crediting TAP awards and verifying students’ residency.
  • The State Education Department should ensure that school officials comply with requirements relating to matriculation, full-time attendance, good academic standing.

Link to full audit report (2010-T-5)

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Higher Education Services Corporation:SUNY FIT Report 2010-T-4
Higher Education Services Corporation: TAP Professional Business College Report 2010-T-3


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: John Buyce
Phone:(518) 474-3271; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236