Higher Education Services Corporation - Tuition Assistance Program

 

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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Higher Education Services Corporation - Tuition Assistance Program
College of Mount Saint Vincent


Issued: May 9, 2013
Link to full audit report 2011-T-3

Purpose

To determine whether College of Mount Saint Vincent management complied with the Education Law and the Commissioner of Education’s Rules and Regulations when certifying Manhattan campus students for State-funded Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) awards.  

Background
The College of Mount Saint Vincent (Mount Saint Vincent), an independent postsecondary institution located in Riverdale, New York, offers a variety of degree programs in the liberal arts, as well as in business, education and nursing. The school’s current enrollment is approximately 1,800 students and the annual tuition for full-time study is about $27,860. TAP is an entitlement program designed to provide funds for paying tuition costs to eligible students. Schools receiving TAP payments certify student eligibility. For the three academic years ended June 30, 2010, the school certified 4,686 TAP awards totaling $7.3 million that were paid on to the school for 1,532 students. We reviewed a sample of 200 randomly-selected TAP awards paid to 186 students, as well as other awards to these students through fall 2011. 

Key Findings

  • We determined that College of Mount Saint Vincent was overpaid $319,468 because school officials incorrectly certified students as eligible for TAP awards.
  • Incorrect certifications include 18 students who received awards but did not meet the requirements for maintaining good academic standing; eight students who did not meet the requirements for full-time; three students who were not properly matriculated; three students who had not been fully credited with their TAP awards, and three students who received awards for semesters in which they were not enrolled in, nor attend classes at the school.   

Key Recommendations

  • The Higher Education Services Corporation should recover $319,468 plus applicable interest, from College of Mount Saint Vincent and ensure that school officials comply with requirements relating to certifying enrolled and attending students, and the crediting of awards. 
  • The State Education Department should ensure that school officials comply with requirements relating to matriculation, full-time attendance, good academic standing.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Higher Education Services Corporation:SUNY FIT (2010-T-4)
Higher Education Services Corporation: The New School (2010-T-5)
Higher Education Services Corporation: SBI Campus (2011-T-1)
Higher Education Services Corporation: Touro College (2010-T-1)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Frank Patone
Phone:(212) 417-5200; 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