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
College of Westchester


Issued: June 30, 2016
Link to full audit report 2015-T-5

Purpose
To determine whether College of Westchester complied with the Education Law and the Commissioner of Education’s Rules and Regulations when certifying students for State financial aid.

Background
The College of Westchester, (Westchester) offers programs in business, computer, digital media, and health fields. Tuition for full-time students is $8,900 per semester and the school’s student enrollment as of the fall 2015 semester was about 1,070 undergraduate students. TAP is an entitlement program designed to provide funds for paying tuition costs to eligible students. Schools receiving State financial aid awards certify student eligibility. For the three academic years ended June 30, 2014, the school certified 4,090 awards totaling almost $7.4 million that were paid to the school on behalf of 1,590 students. We reviewed a sample of 50 randomly selected awards paid during that period, as well as other awards to these students through summer 2015.

Key Findings

  • We determined that the procedures used by Westchester officials to certify students for State financial aid substantially complied with the governing Law and Regulations. 
  • We determined that Westchester was overpaid $13,872 because school officials incorrectly certified some students as eligible for State financial aid awards. The school refunded $2,532 prior to completion of this audit.

Key Recommendations

  • The Higher Education Services Corporation should recover $11,340 plus applicable interest, from Westchester.
  • The State Education Department and the Higher Education Services Corporation should work with school officials to help ensure future compliance with the eligibility requirements cited in the report.  
  • Westchester should comply with the State financial aid requirements when certifiying students for state financial aid.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Tuition Assistance Program - Metropolitan Learning Institute (2014-T-1)
Tuition Assistance Program - DeVry College of New York (2014-T-2)
Tuition Assistance Program - Barnard College (2015-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