Standards of Excellence Review Program

Are you concerned about a looming program review? When is the last time you had a full review of your processes? NASFAA’s Standards of Excellence (SOE) Review Program helps remove the risk of compliance issues for your Title IV programs.

NASFAA’s SOE Program is an objective, confidential, peer review program that assesses your institution’s delivery of student financial aid. Confidential, customized reviews are designed to highlight strengths, identify compliance exceptions, and recommend improvements. SOE was created to promote the highest standards in the administration of financial aid.  

Why should my institution participate?

An SOE review will help prepare your financial aid office for its next accreditation evaluation, compliance review, institutional effectiveness assessment, or simply help you improve your financial aid operations and customer service. Each review is tailored to meet the needs of the institution, and NASFAA’s unbiased reports highlight best practices as well as areas for improvement. Action plans are also provided to help you implement changes quickly and easily to help reduce the risk of program review and audit findings. Institutions that participate in an SOE review will receive free NASFAA resources designed to support recommended changes.  

During a recent analysis conducted by NASFAA on FY14 and FY15 U.S. Department of Education program reviews, it was discovered that the average fine per institution is much greater than the cost of an SOE review. The full analysis can be read here and a sector and chapter breakdown is available here.

What will the SOE team review?

The full SOE review looks at all aspects of Title IV program administration, including:

  • Customer service and satisfaction;
  • Institutional eligibility;
  • Administrative capability;
  • Program compliance, operations, and delivery;
  • Systems, automation, and technology utilization;
  • Human resources and facilities; and
  • Other relevant areas

Where can I learn more?

Watch this complimentary on demand webinar to learn more about the SOE program.

Who should I contact with questions about SOE?

Contact NASFAA’s SOE Administrator by email at, by phone at (202) 785-6953, or by completing the information request form.

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