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Article Posted August 02, 2011

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Financial Aid Purge Protections

”… [S]tudents must be dropped from class rolls if the student has not paid or financial aid has not been affirmed by the drop/add date.”

In our audits and reviews of accounts receivable we have noted inconsistencies in the practice of “purge protection.” These inconsistencies include a) timing of when students are dropped from class roles, and b) allowing students to remain in class with a balance due. Deferment of student payments past published deadlines while waiting for approved financial aid awards is defined as a “purge protection.” Purge protect directly impacts revenue, admissions, use of personnel resources, and compliance with BOR policies and procedures.

The practice can lead to the following:

  • Uncollectable receivables;
  • Increased amount of receivables due to non-payment; and,
  • Inaccurate reporting of enrollment numbers.

The granting of credit is not a primary function of USG. Credit is granted only as indicated below:

  • Credit is granted to students as required for the administration of fines and the assessment of additional fees that may be determined to be applicable after the student registers.
  • Credit is also granted to students in accordance with Board of Regents Policy 7.3.3, Tuition and Fee Payment and Deferral. Short-term credit may be granted to students while waiting for financial aid funds or scholarship funds from third parties. This credit is granted only when a notice of award or a written agreement from a third party has been received.

All tuition and fees (mandatory and elective) are due and payable upon registration. Exceptions to the time of payment are as follows:

  • An institution may defer tuition and fees up to the amount authorized for a specific academic term for students whose fees are guaranteed and will be paid by an outside agency under a documented agreement with the institution.
  • An institution may defer tuition and fees up to the amount of the aid granted for a specified academic term for students who have an institution-administered loan or scholarship in process.
  • An institution may defer tuition and fees up to the limit stated in the certificate or other document for a specified academic term for foreign students who have a certificate or other acceptable documented evidence that payment will be made after a statement of charges from the student has been presented for payment.

All students must be dropped from class rolls if the student has not paid or financial aid has not been affirmed by the drop/add date. If the student filed for financial aid past the deadline, the student should be required to pay out-of-pocket when they register and be reimbursed when the financial aid is awarded. It is therefore important that students complete financial aid paperwork by published deadlines and are aware that they will be dropped for nonpayment.

Posted by Ted Beck
Published in: Audit Findings

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Internal Audit & Compliance
Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia
270 Washington Street, SW
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