Tuition Assistance Program - Higher Education Services Corporation

 

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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Tuition Assistance Program - Higher Education Services Corporation
Medgar Evers College


Issued: May 16, 2014
Link to full audit report 2011-T-4

Purpose
To determine whether Medgar Evers College 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
Medgar Evers College, located in Brooklyn, is a senior college within the City University of New York, and offers a variety of baccalaureate, associate and certificate programs. It serves approximately 6,000 students and tuition for full-time study is about $5,000 per year. 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 13,293 TAP awards totaling $22 million that were paid to the school for 6,666 students. We reviewed a sample of 150 randomly-selected TAP awards paid to 149 students, as well as other awards to these students through spring 2012.

Key Findings

  • We determined that Medgar Evers was overpaid $3,398,205 because school officials incorrectly certified students as eligible for TAP awards
  • Incorrect certifications include 29 students who received awards but did not meet the requirements for full-time status, 14 students who did not maintain good academic standing, four students whose accounts were not credited with the TAP payment, three students who were not properly matriculated, two students who enrolled in programs not approved by the State Education Department, one student who did not meet the citizenship requirement, and one student for whom we found insufficient proof that she satisfied the New York State residency requirement.

Key Recommendations

  • The Higher Education Services Corporation should recover $3,398,205 plus applicable interest, from Medgar Evers College, and ensure that school officials comply with requirements relating to posting TAP awards, student citizenship and State residency.
  • The State Education Department should ensure that school officials comply with requirements relating to full-time attendance, good academic standing, matriculation, and approved programs.
  • School officials should develop and implement an action plan to lessen the risk of incorrect TAP certifications.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Dowling College-Tuition Assistance Program (2012-T-2)
Plaza College – Tuition Assistance Program (2011-T-2)


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