The following is a presentation prepared for: Wisconsin

© 2014 NASFAA
The following is a presentation prepared for:
Wisconsin Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
Appleton, Wisconsin
November 13, 2014
Tim Opgenorth
Executive Director of Financial Aid
University of Illinois - Chicago
© 2014 NASFAA
What is the Standards of Excellence Program?
The Standards of Excellence (SOE) Program is an
objective, confidential peer review that will help your
• Enhance its customer service to students and
• Deliver financial aid funds in a cost-effective
• Maximize resources; and
• Ensure regulatory compliance.
© 2014 NASFAA
Why Chose an SOE Review?
When you choose a NASFAA Standards of
Excellence Review, you receive:
• A confidential assessment of your operations by
qualified, experienced financial aid peer reviewers
(your colleagues);
• Unbiased reports highlighting your program’s
strengths and weaknesses - without penalties or
fines; and
• Strategic recommendations for achieving
© 2014 NASFAA
Scope of Work
• NASFAA then selects a customized peer review team
composed of trained student financial aid administrators who
visit your institution and perform an in-depth, on-site review of
the financial aid operations. The review team spends two to
four days on campus.
• Following the on-site review, the team will compile an
objective evaluation of the institution’s financial aid program
and present its findings in an exit interview to administrators
designated by the institution.
• Finally, NASFAA will prepare and submit a confidential written
report summarizing the peer review team’s observations that
identifies your school’s good financial aid practices and
suggests improvements.
© 2014 NASFAA
What Does a Review Team Look At?
All aspects of school’s participation in the Title IV programs, including:
• Program compliance, operations, and delivery
• Systems, automation, and technology utilization
• Student service and satisfaction
• Human resources and facilities
© 2014 NASFAA
Five Most Commonly Identified
Compliance Exceptions
1. Program participation agreement has missing
2. Drug free workplace issues – no annual
statement, no drug free program
3. Satisfactory Academic Progress policy does not
address all requirements
4. Unresolved student eligibility issues – missing
documentation, verification not properly
5. Missing student consumer information
© 2014 NASFAA
Five Most Common Recommendations
1. Involve the financial aid director in planning new
academic programs
2. Develop a comprehensive policies and
procedures manual
3. Cross train financial aid staff
4. Create a financial aid/business office calendar
5. Provide outside training opportunities
© 2014 NASFAA
How the SOE Report Helps
It provides a description of the compliance exception, the
regulatory citation, and suggested corrective action
Exception: Third-Party Servicers Not Reported on the Eligibility and Certification Approval Report (ECAR)
The University has not listed its third party servicers, ECSI, COAST, Conserve, General Revenue and William and
Fudge on the ECAR.
34 CFR 668.25(e)(1)
(e)(1)(i) An institution that participates in a Title IV, HEA program shall notify the Secretary within 10 days of the date
(A) The institution enters into a new contract or significantly modifies an existing contract with a third-party servicer
to administer any aspect of that program;
(B) The institution or a third-party servicer terminates a contract for the servicer to administer any aspect of that
program; or
(C) A third-party servicer that administers any aspect of the institution’s participation in that program stops
providing services for the administration of that program, goes out of business, or files a petition under the
Bankruptcy Code.
(ii) The institution’s notification must include the name and address of the servicer.
Suggested Corrective Action:
The University should promptly report all third-party services by updating Section J of its Electronic Application for
Approval to Participate in Federal Student Aid Programs at (
© 2014 NASFAA
Another Way the SOE Report Helps
It provides the recommendation and rationale
Recommendation: Use Instant Messaging Intra-Office
The FAO should explore using some type of IM for financial aid communication needing
to be transmitted quickly but does not need to be documented or archived.
Instant messaging is a quick, non-intrusive way to communicate and can be used across
multiple campuses. Skype is a common IM method used.
© 2014 NASFAA
Standards of Excellence Review
For a quote or more information contact:
Susan Luhman
[email protected]
© 2014 NASFAA
© 2014 NASFAA
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