Program to Help HBCUs Assess Good Financial Practices

Program to Help HBCUs Assess Good Financial Practices

WASHINGTON

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) announced a pilot partnership this month to provide peer reviews for historically Black colleges and universities under NASFAA’s Standards of Excellence Review Program.
The Standards of Excellence (SOE) Review Program, now in its fifth year, is an objective peer review program that assesses an institution’s delivery of financial aid. Customized and confidential, the on-site reviews are designed to highlight strengths and recommend improvements.
“Identification of best practices as well as opportunities to fine-tune operations is particularly important in averting student loan defaults, which is one of KHEAA’s top concerns,” says KHEAA executive director Joe L. McCormick.
Under the terms of the partnership, KHEAA will subsidize the full cost associated with each SOE review at selected HBCUs.
Dallas Martin, president of NASFAA, remarked on the timeliness of the partnership.
“We recognize that these are difficult financial times for postsecondary institutions, and are delighted that KHEAA has stepped forward to help provide this valuable service for schools that might otherwise not be able to afford it.” Martin noted that NASFAA would continue to seek partners to help finance SOE reviews at additional institutions in all sectors.
“We plan to reach out to a variety of organizations that recognize the value of the SOE program and seek their assistance in providing reviews at all kinds of institutions,” Martin says.

The program involves five key steps:

  •  The scope of the review is established in a letter of engagement between the institution and NASFAA.
  • The institution submits demographic data and other information to NASFAA and a preliminary institutional assessment is conducted.
  • NASFAA then selects a customized peer review team comprised of experienced financial aid administrators who visit the institution and perform an in-depth, on-site review of the financial aid operations. The review team spends two days to one week on the campus.
  • Following the on-site review, the team compiles an objective evaluation of the institution’s financial aid program and presents its findings in an exit interview to administrators designated by the institution.
  • Finally, the peer review team prepares and submits a confidential written report that identifies the institution’s good financial aid practices, cites any compliance issues, and suggests improvements.
For more information on the Standards of Excellence ­­Review Program, visit .  



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