Program Review Process

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Since its inception in 1977, Program Review has been committed to helping schools accurately and effectively administer state and federal financial aid programs. Our goal is to ensure that the administration of all state and federal financial aid programs is in compliance with applicable law, regulations, and policies.

We are committed to promoting and maintaining integrity, accuracy, and timeliness in the certification and delivery of financial assistance to students and their families. Currently, we conduct routine reviews in an effort to better serve the financial aid community and provide better training.

To learn more about Program Review, view/download the Program Review Process, September 2017 (PDF).

Contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.

Type of Review Characteristics Sample Size
Routine Program Review
  • Reviews are conducted approximately every 2 years.
  • Findings report is mailed to the President of the institution and the Director of Financial Aid will be provided with a copy.
  • The institution must respond and resolve any findings within 30 days of the initial report or request an extension. This includes making all required refunds.

State Grant: 30-45 files. For institutions with less than 30 files, 100 percent of the files will be reviewed.

Special Programs: Ten records per program or 100 percent of all records if there are less than 10. If only one special program is being reviewed, more than 10 records could be included in the sample.

Special Programs reviewed may include:

  • Pennsylvania (National Guard) Educational Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Partnership for Access to Higher Education (PATH)
  • Educational Training Grant (Chafee)
  • Ready to Succeed Scholarship (RTSS)
  • Institutional Assistance Grant (IAG)
  • Higher Education for the Disadvantaged (Act 101)
  • Blind or Deaf Beneficiary Grant (BDBG)
  • PA Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP)
  • Matching Funds State Work-Study Program (SWSP)
  • State Grant Distance Education Pilot Program (SGDEPP, through the 2017/18 award year)
  • Federal Work-Study Program (FWSP)
Follow-up Review
  • Review is conducted if the institution's State Grant error rate exceeds the acceptable limit and/or four or more administrative findings.
  • A final error rate of 4.1 percent to 8.9 percent requires review of current and possibly the following year of State Grant records.
  • A final error rate greater than 8.9 percent and/or four or more administrative findings indicates the possibility of major problems with the administration of the State Grant Program.
  • Findings report is mailed to the President of the institution and the Director of Financial Aid will be provided with a copy.
  • The school officials must respond to the finding(s) and make all requested refunds within 30 days of the initial report or request an extension.

State Grant: 30-45 files. For institutions with less than 30 files, 100 percent of the files will be reviewed.

Special Programs: Ten records per program or 100 percent of all records if there are less than 10. If only one special program is being reviewed, more than 10 records could be included in the sample.

Probationary Review
  • Review is conducted for institutions that, for a second year in a row, have an error rate greater than 8.9 percent, and/ or four or more administrative findings.
  • Findings report is mailed to the President of the institution and the Director of Financial Aid will be provided with a copy.
  • The institution must respond and resolve any findings within 30 days of the initial report or request an extension. This includes making all required refunds.

State Grant: 30-45 files. For institutions with less than 30 files, 100 percent of the files will be reviewed.

Special Programs: Ten records per program or 100 percent of all records if there are less than 10. If only one special program is being reviewed, more than 10 records could be included in the sample.

School Closing Review
  • Review conducted when an institution closes or loses eligibility. Scheduled by PHEAA within 30 days of closure date or loss of eligibility date.
  • More than 1 academic year can be reviewed if applicable.
  • Findings report is mailed to the President of the institution and the Director of Financial Aid will be provided with a copy.
  • The institution must respond and resolve any findings within 10 days of the initial report or request an extension. This includes making all required refunds.

100 percent of student files and will encompass the State Grant and Special Programs records.

Audit
  • An audit is conducted when there is reported or suspected fraud at the institution and may be conducted unannounced.

Sample size will vary depending on what is being reviewed. Typically, the sample will include 100 percent of student files and will encompass the State Grant and Special Programs records.

Supporting Content

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