Tuition Assistance Program - Higher Education Services Corporation

 

Skip to Content

Login   Subscribe   Site Index   Contact Us   Google Translate™

NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Tuition Assistance Program - Higher Education Services Corporation
Vaughn College


Issued: May 19, 2016
Link to full audit report 2015-T-6

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

Background
TAP is the largest student grant program administered by the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) and is designed to help eligible students pay postsecondary tuition charges in New York schools. HESC also administers a variety of State scholarship programs. Schools receiving State financial aid payments are responsible for certifying student eligibility. Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology (Vaughn) is a four-year private institution specializing in aviation, engineering and technology. It is located adjacent to LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York. Previously named The College of Aeronautics, the school was originally founded in 1932. Vaughn currently has about 1,500 undergraduate students enrolled. The tuition for a full-time student is $10,940 per semester. For the three academic years ended June 30, 2014, the school certified 4,317 awards totaling $7.9 million that were paid to the school on behalf of 1,716 students. We reviewed a sample of 50 randomly selected awards paid during that period, as well as other awards paid to these students through spring 2015.

Key Findings

  • We determined that Vaughn's certification procedures for State financial aid substantially complied with the governing Law and Regulations. We found that of the 50 awards tested, only two, totaling $3,945, were certified in error.  As such, we conclude that there is a low risk that a significant number of students certified for State financial aid were not eligible for awards.
  • Nonetheless, our tests did disclose 20 awards totaling $34,546 that school officials certified in error.

Key Recommendations

  • The Higher Education Services Corporation should recover $34,546, plus applicable interest, from Vaughn.
  • The Higher Education Services Corporation and the State Education Department should work with Vaughn officials to help ensure future compliance with the State financial aid requirements cited in this report.
  • Vaughn officials should comply with the Education Law and the Commissioner of Education’s Rules and Regulations when certifying 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)
Tuition Assistance Program - LIM College (2015-T-2)
Tuition Assistance Program - Wagner College (2015-T-3)


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