Office of the President
Aug 28, 2018
Dear Howard University Community,
In keeping with my commitment to continuously progress and provide regular updates to the Howard community, I am writing to you today to share developments impacting the Office of Financial Aid and the distribution of Financial Aid to the university. Transforming this office to administer aid more effectively and improve the levels of service provided remains a top priority for my administration.
The Department of Education began a comprehensive review of Howard University’s curriculum in April 2018 following the public release of information regarding the internal investigation into embezzlement in our financial aid office. While this review of the program is still ongoing, the Department of Education has chosen to place Howard University in Enhanced Cash Monitoring 2 status so that the DOE can closely monitor the management of the financial aid of the institution. It is important to note that we take all necessary measures to avoid any negative impact on students in processing aid and receiving funds.
This change in status means that all withdrawals for Title IV funds will require the University to submit all documents on each student before the Department of Education releases the funds. This documentation must be accurate and complete to ensure reimbursement. Students can help by ensuring that they submit all necessary documents to the university in a timely manner. This process will impact the inflow and timing of federal financial aid funds to the University, however, we will provide students who have submitted all documents on time with University reimbursements and wait for the monthly reimbursement from the Department of Education. ‘Education. For more information, please see here: https://newsroom.howard.edu/newsroom/article/8636/qa-financial-aid-hcm2-updates [howard.us3.list-manage.com].
On April 9, 2018, in a letter to the Howard University community and in an accompanying preliminary investigation report, I informed our community of the termination of six employees due to violations of University policies. regarding the disbursement of funds provided by the University aid funds. At that time, I made a commitment to continue the important reforms of our Financial Aid Office, as well as to strengthen the oversight and accountability of this unit.
Since April, the following improvements have been made:
• Hiring of a new permanent director of financial assistance.
• Hiring of an internal financial aid compliance manager.
• Completed other strategic hires including a new Vice-President for Enrollment Management and a University-wide Chief Compliance Officer.
• Significant increase in the staff of the Financial Aid Office.
• Approval of all university grants is now reviewed and approved by the Budget Office (for unrestricted institutional assistance) and the Comptroller’s Office (for donor-led assistance) prior to Office award. financial aid.
• Access to the Banner Financial Aid module is now limited to a small number of suitable senior individuals at the University, with adequate third party review and appropriate segregation of duties.
• Financial Aid Services, an external company that provides student financial aid services to universities, was selected and given a full range of tasks related to improving the administration of financial aid by Howard. These tasks include:
o Update all student / consumer family information regarding Howard’s education fees and financial aid policies, for posting on the web;
o Update Howard’s Financial Aid Policies and Procedures Manual, covering rules for the effective administration of Howard Institutional Financial Aid and Federal Aid; and
o Train all Howard University Financial Aid Office staff on the contents of the updated Financial Aid Policies and Procedures manual.
To further improve service to students, we implemented mandatory campus-wide customer service training for all employees, and deployed the Bison electronic line to the financial aid office and the Bursar’s office ( a queue management application that allows students to wait in a “virtual line” rather than a physical line, allowing them to fulfill their academic and other responsibilities before returning for an appointment you expected). We will continue to improve our systems in all this area.
I am committed to Howard providing the best service to our students and our community in the administration of financial aid, as well as all other aspects of campus life that impact our students. We will continue to partner with Financial Aid Services and work closely with the Department of Education and other entities to improve service, restore confidence in our processes, and continue to provide the world-class education that our students deserve. As good stewards of university and federal funds, we are committed to continuing to investigate any issue related to the inappropriate use of University resources. Additional updates on this and related issues will be forthcoming.
Excellence in truth and service,
Wayne AI Frederick, MD, MBA
Office of the President
2400 Sixth Street, NW, Suite 402
Washington, DC 20059