How Texas Screws Up Financial Aid

Texas isn’t doing a very good job managing student aid and state scholarships.

According to an article by Daniel Lathrop in the Dallas Morning News:

The state auditor’s office has found significant problems in how 11 state colleges and universities follow federal rules governing the handling of student aid money.

The findings were not bad enough to endanger the schools’ funding. But auditors said that the “significant deficiencies” and “noncompliance” they uncovered meant that the schools had made improper expenditures of federal money or were at risk of doing so.

The report identified some 40 deficiencies in the manner in which institutions administered financial aid. Ten schools — including the University of Texas, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M, calculated the cost of attending the schools inaccurately when awarding financial aid. Other schools awarded more money to students than was legally allowed. Some other schools failed to properly track whether or not students were still eligible for aid. Some schools didn’t return unused funds to the Department of Education. Many schools didn’t have the necessary controls over information technology needed to properly organize and process student financial aid needs.

Texas, of course, is only one state, and the audit was done specifically for state institutions within Texas, and is therefore an analysis of a few institutions only.

But Texas, which has 4.4 million college students (only California has more), is one of America’s largest states. There’s no reason to think these particular problems are exclusive to the Lone Star State.

Read the report here.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer