ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. ― A new internal audit shows that Elizabeth City State University improperly admitted students who did not qualify last year and improperly awarded financial aid.
The audit started last October following allegations that an administration had told staff to make financial awards to ineligible students, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported.
It was also alleged the administrator had told staff to do whatever was necessary to increase the number of students in school.
Enrollment at the school has dropped by more than half in the past five years. The school had fewer than 1,600 students last year, resulting in heavy budget cuts.
The audit completed last month does not contain proof the unnamed administrator deliberately broke the rules to boost enrollment.
The audit found that 93 applicants admitted last fall did not meet minimum academic requirements. Thirty-five students did not meet admissions standards. They received nearly $490,000 in financial aid.
The admissions staff also failed to verify high school transcripts and graduation for all new students last year and in 2014. Nor did school officials acquire officials SAT or ACT scores from the testing companies.
Two months after the audit started, then-Chancellor Stacey Franklin Jones abruptly resigned after little more than a year on the job.
A new chancellor, Thomas Conway, started in January.