Standards of Excellence Review Program

SOE 25th Anniverary LogoNASFAA's Standards of Excellence (SOE) Review Program, administered by Blue Icon Advisors, offers objective, confidential, peer reviews that assess your institution's delivery of student financial aid. Reviews are designed to highlight strengths, identify compliance exceptions, and recommend improvements. Note: SOE reviews are usually scheduled six to 12 months in advance.

Request an SOE Review

What an SOE Review Evaluates

The SOE Review Program looks at all aspects of Title IV program administration, including:

  • Systems, automation, and technology utilization
  • Title IV Federal Student Aid compliance, operations, and delivery
  • Customer service and satisfaction
  • Institutional eligibility
  • Administrative capability
  • Human resources
  • Facilities
  • Consumer information

If you need a more targeted review, Blue Icon Advisors also OFFERS REVIEWS focused on compliance, operations, and additional topics of financial aid administration.

Justify Your SOE Review

Member institutions who have gone through the Standards of Excellence (SOE) Review Program applaud the comprehensive evaluation of their federal financial aid operations. In many cases, they had to justify their request for having one. We developed the following resources to help you explain the importance of having an SOE review.

SOE Quiz: Does Your School Need a Peer Review

How do you know if your school really needs a peer review? Take this quiz to find out.

A Pyramid Approach

A NASFAA SOE review doesn’t just evaluate your school’s compliance with Title IV rules, but looks holistically at your institution.

Learn more about our SOE clients’ experience in our CASE STUDIES

Our Peer Review Team 

Standards of Excellence peer reviewers are independent consultants who are also practicing financial aid professionals from across the country who are qualified to evaluate every aspect of your operations, assess Title IV Federal Student Aid compliance, and recommend best practices. 

SOE peer reviewers have served in schools of all sizes and sectors, have expertise in student information systems and school accreditation, and experience with federal program reviews. Many have earned the FAAC® designation and hold NASFAA credentials. All of our Standards of Excellence consultants have received special training from Blue Icon.

  • Team Leaders are experienced peer reviewers who receive additional training to oversee the SOE reviews, including the on-site review process.
  • Peer Reviewers must have at least eight years of financial aid experience and be selected by Blue Icon through an interview and vetting process.
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