Surviving ed program review what to expect we ve been there done that
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Surviving ED Program Review What to Expect “We’ve Been There & Done That” PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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New Mexico Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators 2014. Surviving ED Program Review What to Expect “We’ve Been There & Done That”. Jacob Pacheco Connie Manzanares Northern New Mexico College. Our Objective:.

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Surviving ED Program Review What to Expect “We’ve Been There & Done That”

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New Mexico Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators 2014

Surviving ED Program Review

What to Expect

“We’ve Been There & Done That”

Jacob PachecoConnie Manzanares

Northern New Mexico College

Our Objective:

To share our recent Program Review experience in an effort to help you successfully prepare and manage the process.

Presentation Outline

What is a Program Review

What Triggered Our Program Review

& What Could Potentially Trigger Yours

You Get “The Call” Preparing for the

Visit – Be Ready

The Reviewers Are Here

After the Visit

Be Prepared

Purpose of U.S. Dept. of Educ. Program Review

  • Is to evaluate compliance, identify liabilities and improve institutional capabilities

  • Authority for Program Review is defined by Congress to provide necessary oversight of Title IV Participants

What Triggers Program Review?

  • High default rates – (over 25% cohort rate or dollar volume)

  • Significant fluctuation in volume of Direct loans or Pell

  • Deficiencies reported by State or Accrediting agencies

What Triggers Program Review?

  • High annual dropout rates

  • Financial aid program deficiencies

  • Financial/Administrative capability compliance risk, Audit Findings

What Triggered Our Review

  • Late Audit Submissions!!! Two year’s in a row!

  • I started getting calls - from the Department of Education….Yikes!!

We Got “The Call” July 12th

  • Typically 2-4 weeks advance notice

  • The dates they initially chose were terrible for us

  • Negotiated for more suitable visit dates – need a good reason

We Got The “Letter” July 17

We Got “The Letter” cont..

  • U.S. DOE letter confirmed visit dates, explained Entrance Conference & requested Pre-Review Submissions

  • Specified that all offices involved in financial aid administration would be reviewed

  • Also indicated that Campus Security & Drug-Free Schools Act compliance would be reviewed

The “Call” The “Letter” & Bears Ohh My!

  • Don’t Panic! It’s not like you have to do a presentation for NMASFAA

  • Read the entire letter:

    -Date of Review

    - Pre-Review Requirements – It’s a long list

  • Begin Notifying campus officials

  • Contact the lead Program Reviewer

Contact the Lead Reviewer

  • Establish a point of contact

  • Clarify details about the pre-review documents - format (electronic or paper)

  • Clarify Scope and Period of Review

  • Determine what accommodations are needed? Parking?

Read ED Program Review Guide 2009

Super useful prep tool

  • Reviewers use it

  • Sample file and policy review checklists

  • Sample Student/Staff Interview Questions


Preparation Begins

  • Set meeting/s with the key players

    - Fiscal; Academic; Registrar; Admissions,

    IT (Banner), Security

  • Ensure that everyone understands the significance of ED Program Review

    “Sorry, but no vacation for you Mr. Provost”

Preparation Begins Cont…

  • Prepare Resource Room

    - Secure a nice working space for Reviewers

    - Work with IT to provide access to databases

    - Provide organized copies of all Pre-Review info

    - Make arrangements for copying

List of Pre-Submission Items

Pre-Visit Submission Items

  • Recipient Data Spreadsheet

    - Specific Award Year: Unduplicated list of TIV recipients in Excel and/or Access.

    - Used to confirm expenditures and to select a review sample

Pre-Visit Submission ItemsRecipient Data Spreadsheet

Pre-Visit Submission Items

  • Consumer Information Attachment – 18 pgs - provide URL’s, title, page #’s, etc.

    - Policies and Procedures

    - Consumer Information Publications

    - Disclosures

    - Campus Security Reports

    - Catalogs

Pre-Visit Submission Items

  • Request for Student Files (7)

    - Copy of Admissions File

    - Copy of Financial Aid File

    - Academic Transcript

    - Student Account Ledger

    - R2T4 calculation worksheet, evidence of return

    - If Work-Study-time sheets, class schedule, payroll records

Reviewers Are On Campus

Entrance Conference

  • Everybody Should Attend – President, Vice Pres., CFO, Registrar, Deans, Chairs, Security

  • Reviewers will explain:

    - Purpose

    - Scope

    - Timeframe which will include scheduling the Exit Conference (Don’t assume everybody pays attention)

Entrance Conference, cont.

  • Introduce the school team

  • Reviewers did most of the talking – explained the reason for the review and the scope

  • Discuss staff interviews – Schedule created after entrance

  • Opportunity to ask questions

Staff Interviews

  • Ensure staff members are available – They have to know the importance of being available.

  • Use and share the Program Review Guide for interview prep

  • Many of the questions concerned consumer information and campus security

Problems are Found

  • Reviewers find an issue with R2T4

    - Liability: have to send $$ back to the DOE

  • Consumer Information

    - not all requirements adequately met

    - some info not easy to find

    - some links did not work

    - Clery Act (Do we have dorms or not?)

Problems are Found cont..

  • Verification

    • We were verifying too many files

    • Asking for documentation that was not necessary

Exit Conference

  • Reviewers praised Northern! – Let us know that findings were minimal & we were doing a good job

  • Reviewers discussed findings

  • Framed required actions to strengthen our compliance

  • This is a time to ask questions and seek clarity on what happens next


Program Review Report

  • We are waiting – It’s been over 6 months

  • Clery Act finding is reviewed by a Department in Washington D.C.

  • When report arrives we will provide institutional response by a due date specified in letter.

Be Prepared

  • Policies & Procedures

    - Verification, Refunds, R2T4, Awarding, SAP, Professional Judgment

    - Admissions

    - Fiscal

    - Academic

    - Enrollment

    - Campus Security

  • Don’t get caught not implementing your own policy

Be Prepared

  • Staff should be current on FSA requirements and engaged with professional community.

    - Conferences (Annual FSA, NMASFAA, etc.)

    - Training sessions – online

  • Use Assessment Tools (FSA, NASFAA)


Contact Information:

Jacob Pacheco

Financial Aid Director

Northern New Mexico College


[email protected]

Connie Manzanares

Assistant Director, Financial Aid

Northern New Mexico College


[email protected]

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