Tuition Assistance Program - Higher Education Services Corporation


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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Tuition Assistance Program - Higher Education Services Corporation
LaGuardia Community College

Issued: December 4, 2014
Link to full audit report

To determine whether LaGuardia Community 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.  

LaGuardia Community College (LaGuardia), located in Queens, is part of the City University of New York. LaGuardia offers more than 50 associate degree programs in many fields, including nursing, business, liberal arts, and computer science. LaGuardia’s student enrollment at the time of our audit approximated 20,000 and its annual tuition for New York City residents is about $4,500. 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, 2012, the school certified 24,006 TAP awards totaling $31.2 million that were paid to the school on behalf of 12,976 students. We reviewed a sample of 60 randomly-selected TAP awards paid during the three years ended June 30. 2012, as well as other awards to these students through fall 2013.

Key Findings

  • We determined that LaGuardia was overpaid $91,911 because school officials incorrectly certified students as eligible for TAP awards.
  • Incorrect certifications include 8 students who received awards but did not meet the requirements for full-time status, and one student who did not maintain good academic standing.

Key Recommendations

  • The Higher Education Services Corporation should recover $91,911 plus applicable interest, from LaGuardia.
  • The State Education Department should ensure that school officials comply with requirements relating to full-time attendance and good academic standing.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Mercy College - Tuition Assistance Program (2012-T-3)
Dowling College - Tuition Assistance Program (2012-T-2)
Medgar Evers College - Tuition Assistance Program (2011-T-4)

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Frank Patone
Phone: (212) 417-5200; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236