3.10.3 Financial Aid Audits

The institution audits financial aid programs as required by federal and state regulations.

Judgment of Compliance

PVAMU SACS Accreditation - Judgement Compliance

Narrative of Compliance

Prairie View A&M University audits its financial aid programs regularly to determine compliance with state and federal regulations. Approximately 90% of full-time undergraduate students received some form of need-based financial aid in 2007-2008, including $86 million in federal grants and loans, $5 million in Texas grants, and $22 million in scholarship awards [1]. Therefore reliable and valid handling of funds is crucial to achieving the University's mission of "serving a diverse ethnic and socioeconomic population" [2].

As an agency of the State of Texas, the University is audited annually as part of the Statewide Financial Audit.  The Texas State Auditor’s Office issued an unqualified opinion on the State’s overall basic financial statements for 2006 [3], 2007 [4], and 2008 [5]. Additionally, the firm of KPMG LLP conducts an independent audit of all state agencies, including Prairie View A&M University, for federal compliance with the Department of Education and OMB Circular A-133 requirements.

Between 2001 and 2008, no audits found any questioned costs, and in 2001, 2005, 2006, and 2008, Prairie View A&M University had no federal findings at all.

In 2002, two Reportable Condition Controls were found regarding timely submission of student status changes to the National Student Clearinghouse and verification of loan counseling to FFELP recipients prior to fund disbursement. In the first case, the institution reported a switch to monthly reporting of enrollment changes, and in the second, a counseling record hold was implemented in the SIS online system [6]. In 2003, the auditors followed up on the two control issues from 2002 and the procedures that the institution said would be in place. The first was found to be partially implemented, due to non-verification of fax transmission success, and the second was determined to be implemented / corrected [7]. Finally, in 2004, the remaining condition control from 2002 was tested and found implemented / corrected [8].

In 2007, Student Financial Assistance had findings for incorrect disbursement dates for Pell Grants and FFELP loans. The institution has corrected the procedures during the transition from SIS to Banner financial aid management software [9].

The Texas A&M University System Internal Audit Department also has audited the Office of Student Financial Aid in FY2004 and again in the first quarter of FY2009. This recent analysis for "compliance with federal rules regarding general eligibility, Pell grants, disbursement timeliness, disbursement limits, etc., found an immaterial error rate of less than 1%," and three recommendations were given to improve reconciliations, scholarship management, and compensatory time management of employees [1].

A more detailed discussion of compliance with federal requirements (including audit requirements) for Title IV funding is available in the response to Federal Requirement 4.7.

Supporting Documentation and Links

Comprehensive Standards 3.10.3

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