Case Study: Columbia Basin College

July 2021

Goals

To be prepared in the event of a federal program review.

Situation

Ben Beus, director of financial aid at Columbia Basin College, understood the high-risk nature of a potential federal program review and approached Blue Icon Advisors to receive assistance in preparing for such a review.

Solution

Blue Icon evaluated the current state of institutional compliance with Title IV, HEA program administration, focusing on the most common compliance finding areas, including student eligibility, return of Title IV funds, Title IV credit balances, verification, and satisfactory academic progress. The consultant conducted this review through interviewing staff, reviewing existing policies and procedures, and performing a file review.

Outcome

The consultant delivered a presentation detailing not only the school's compliance exceptions, but also pointed out strengths at the institution. "Being able to have an outside set of eyes look at things in detail through the lens of a federal program review was hugely valuable," said Beus. The school's experience mirrored a program review - right down to the timeline to respond to documentation requests and interviews with staff. "The consultant approached it like a program review and also coached us on how to respond to certain questions ED would ask."

The engagement provided Beus with a platform to advocate for financial aid: "Overall, it's going to force us to be more aware across the institution how Title IV programs impact the entire campus."

 

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Publication Date: 10/8/2021

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