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
Fordham University


Issued: January 27, 2017
Link to full audit report 2016-T-2

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

Background
Fordham University (Fordham), a Jesuit Catholic University founded in 1841, operates four campuses in New York State: Rose Hill in the Bronx; Lincoln Center in Manhattan; Westchester in West Harrison; and the Louis Calder Center in Armonk. The school’s enrollment for the 2015-16 academic year totaled 8,855 undergraduate students. Fordham offers degrees in various disciplines including business, English, philosophy, political science, pre-med, psychology, social work, and theology. Annual undergraduate tuition for the 2015-16 year was $46,120. 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 8,739 awards totaling $14.4 million that were paid to the school on behalf of 2,638 students. We reviewed a sample of 75 randomly selected awards paid during that period, as well as other awards to these students through the spring 2016 semester.

Key Findings

  • We determined that Fordham was overpaid $104,630 because school officials incorrectly certified some students as eligible for State financial aid awards.
  • Incorrect certifications include four students who received awards but did not maintain good academic standing and four students who received awards but did not meet the full-time requirement.

Key Recommendations

  • The Higher Education Services Corporation should recover $104,630 plus applicable interest, from Fordham.
  • Fordham should comply with the State Education Law and the Commissioner of Education’s Rules and Regulations when certifying students for State financial aid.
  • 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.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Tuition Assistance Program - CUNY York (2016-T-1)    
Tuition Assistance Program - Metropolitan College of New York (2015-T-7)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Kenrick Sifontes
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