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© 2014 NASFAA The following is a presentation prepared for: Wisconsin Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Appleton, Wisconsin November 13,
© 2014 NASFAA2 Presenter Tim Opgenorth Executive Director of Financial Aid University of Illinois - Chicago
© 2014 NASFAA3 What is the Standards of Excellence Program? The Standards of Excellence (SOE) Program is an objective, confidential peer review that will help your school: Enhance its customer service to students and parents; Deliver financial aid funds in a cost-effective manner; Maximize resources; and Ensure regulatory compliance.
© 2014 NASFAA4 Why Chose an SOE Review? When you choose a NASFAA Standards of Excellence Review, you receive: A confidential assessment of your operations by qualified, experienced financial aid peer reviewers (your colleagues); Unbiased reports highlighting your program’s strengths and weaknesses - without penalties or fines; and Strategic recommendations for achieving excellence.
© 2014 NASFAA5 Scope of Work NASFAA then selects a customized peer review team composed of trained student financial aid administrators who visit your institution and perform an in-depth, on-site review of the financial aid operations. The review team spends two to four days on campus. Following the on-site review, the team will compile an objective evaluation of the institution’s financial aid program and present its findings in an exit interview to administrators designated by the institution. Finally, NASFAA will prepare and submit a confidential written report summarizing the peer review team’s observations that identifies your school’s good financial aid practices and suggests improvements.
© 2014 NASFAA6 What Does a Review Team Look At? All aspects of school’s participation in the Title IV programs, including: Program compliance, operations, and delivery Systems, automation, and technology utilization Student service and satisfaction Human resources and facilities
© 2014 NASFAA7 Five Most Commonly Identified Compliance Exceptions 1.Program participation agreement has missing information 2.Drug free workplace issues – no annual statement, no drug free program 3.Satisfactory Academic Progress policy does not address all requirements 4.Unresolved student eligibility issues – missing documentation, verification not properly completed 5.Missing student consumer information
© 2014 NASFAA8 Five Most Common Recommendations 1.Involve the financial aid director in planning new academic programs 2.Develop a comprehensive policies and procedures manual 3.Cross train financial aid staff 4.Create a financial aid/business office calendar 5.Provide outside training opportunities
© 2014 NASFAA9 How the SOE Report Helps It provides a description of the compliance exception, the regulatory citation, and suggested corrective action Exception: Third-Party Servicers Not Reported on the Eligibility and Certification Approval Report (ECAR) The University has not listed its third party servicers, ECSI, COAST, Conserve, General Revenue and William and Fudge on the ECAR. Citation: 34 CFR (e)(1) (e)(1)(i) An institution that participates in a Title IV, HEA program shall notify the Secretary within 10 days of the date that— (A) The institution enters into a new contract or significantly modifies an existing contract with a third-party servicer to administer any aspect of that program; (B) The institution or a third-party servicer terminates a contract for the servicer to administer any aspect of that program; or (C) A third-party servicer that administers any aspect of the institution’s participation in that program stops providing services for the administration of that program, goes out of business, or files a petition under the Bankruptcy Code. (ii) The institution’s notification must include the name and address of the servicer. Suggested Corrective Action: The University should promptly report all third-party services by updating Section J of its Electronic Application for Approval to Participate in Federal Student Aid Programs at (http://www.eligcert.ed.gov/).http://www.eligcert.ed.gov/
© 2014 NASFAA10 Another Way the SOE Report Helps It provides the recommendation and rationale Recommendation: Use Instant Messaging Intra-Office The FAO should explore using some type of IM for financial aid communication needing to be transmitted quickly but does not need to be documented or archived. Rationale: Instant messaging is a quick, non-intrusive way to communicate and can be used across multiple campuses. Skype is a common IM method used.
© 2014 NASFAA11 Standards of Excellence Review For a quote or more information contact: Susan Luhman
© 2014 NASFAA12
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