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Term Definition

Colleges and universities participating in the State’s student financial aid programs are subject to periodic audit by the Office of the State Comptroller. The purpose of the audits is to assure that institutions are administering the programs properly in accordance with applicable Education Law, regulations, and policy.

Auditors begin with a sample of approximately 200 student awards (adjusted as necessary based on the size of an institution), generally covering a three-year period. They will spend two or three months on campus reviewing college operations and controls relating to student aid as well as all records and documentation pertaining to each student’s award. Materials considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Admissions records (application, high school diploma, test scores, etc.)
  • Academic transcripts (to verify matriculation in approved program; accuracy of GPA calculation, appropriate course load per term, etc.)
  • Approved standard of satisfactory academic progress
  • College catalogs (for review of admission criteria; academic program listings, grading and other academic policies, etc.)
  • Official State Education Department Inventory of Registered Programs
  • Waiver records

The more complete, detailed, and accurate an institution’s records to support its certifications of student eligibility, the more likely there will be a positive (few if any disallowances) audit outcome.

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