The institution audits financial aid programs as required by federal and state regulations.


Compliance Judgment:  In compliance

Narrative 
 

 

East Carolina University (hereafter, ECU or the institution), a member of the University of North Carolina System, audits financial aid programs as required by federal and state regulations.  The North Carolina Office of the State Auditor (NCOSA) is responsible for auditing the financial statements for all North Carolina state agencies, including East Carolina University. In addition to providing an opinion on the financial statements, the NCOSA also provides a report on internal control over financial reporting and compliance with rules and regulations as required by Government Auditing Standards.

 

Externally funded grants and contracts are subject to audit annually by the North Carolina Office of the State Auditor as part of the audit of all university financial operations described in SACS comprehensive standard 2.11.1.  The institution is also included as part of the North Carolina Statewide Single Audit, which is conducted in accordance with standards contained in Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States, the requirements of the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996, and the provisions of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments and Non-Profit Organizations.  East Carolina University’s Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards is shown on pages 286-290 of the Single Audit Report 2011, released April 10, 2012.   Within this report, the state auditor issued the Report on Compliance with Requirements that Could have a Direct and Material Effect on each Major Program and on Internal Control Over Compliance in Accordance with OMB Circular A-133 and the Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting and on Compliance and Other Matters Based on an Audit of Financial Statements Performed in Accordance with Government Auditing Standards.  A summary of findings and questioned costs broken down by state agency begins on page 183.  No audit findings were reported for East Carolina University.  In addition, the Single Audit Report for North Carolina for fiscal years 2009-2010 and 2008-2009 had no findings related to the institution’s financial aid program. 

 

The annual Financial Statement Audit Reports for fiscal years 2010-2011, 2009-2010, and 2008-2009 had no findings related to financial aid.  Also, for these fiscal years, ECU received an unqualified opinion in the North Carolina State Auditor’s report.

 

As required by the UNC System, the East Carolina University Office of Internal Audit follows up on all NCOSA audit findings and issues a report to the UNC Office of the President and the NCOSA as to whether all audit findings have been satisfactorily resolved or whether satisfactory progress has been made.  The University’s response to NCOSA audit findings is included in the NCOSA’s audit report.

 

In March 2010, East Carolina University had a U.S. Department of Education Program Review.  The Expedited Final Program Review letter dated March 15, 2010, states that the purpose of the review was to evaluate ECU’s compliance with statutes and federal regulations pertaining to the institution’s administration of Title IV, Higher Education Act (HEA) programs.  Of the files selected for students who withdrew, those who were selected for verification, and those who received a “0” grade point average, no significant findings were identified.

 

In April 2010, the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA) conducted a program review of ECU’s administration of the state aid program for fiscal years 2006-2007 and 2007-20008.  The NCSEAA Program Review Report  includes the institution’s response to findings and observations of the review.  In January of 2012, a NCSEAA Program Review Letter was received from NCSEAA notifying ECU that the corrective actions outlined by the institution were deemed satisfactory, and the review was considered closed.

 

In July 2010, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue received a letter from the U.S. Department of Education regarding the Final Audit Determination of the UNC System submission of the A-133 audit.  East Carolina University is one of the schools listed that had no findings for the period of 2008-09.

In 2008, in order to strengthen the internal control environment and align UNC people, processes, and technology, the UNC System General Administration started the UNC Finance Improvement and Transformation initiative (UNC FIT). Financial Aid was identified as one of the processes that would be part of this initiative.  A project team documented baseline standards; and created standard templates, checklists, and forms for the financial aid process.  The project team also conducts periodic monitoring visits to ensure the baseline standards have been appropriately implemented. Key performance indicators were also created for the financial aid process, and the project team prepares a “dashboard” report that is distributed on a quarterly basis to the President of the UNC System and UNC System Chancellors. The Financial Aid Standards were last updated in June of 2011, and the UNC: Finance Improvement and Transformation (FIT) Dashboard of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for the period ending September 2011 has been distributed.


ECU operates under the reimbursement payment method for federal financial aid funds. The
institution makes disbursements to students and parents for the amounts which they are eligible to receive under the Federal Pell Grant, the Active Competitiveness Grant (ACG), the National Science & Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant, and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) before seeking reimbursement for those disbursements. ECU considers having made a disbursement when it credits a student's account or initiates any payment. Federal funds are then electronically transferred to the institution.

In addition, the University is approved to participate in Title IV programs, as demonstrated in the Federal Student Aid Program Participation Agreement from the United States Department of Education, the Approval to Participate in Federal Student Financial Aid Programs letter, and in the corresponding Eligibility and Certification Approval Report for 3/7/2012; the institution’s financial aid programs are in good standing with the agency.

East Carolina University continues to draw down and return funds via G5, the electronic transfer system; and as an indicator of compliance with comprehensive standard 3.10.2, East Carolina University has not been obliged to post a letter of credit with any financial or regulatory agency. 

In summary, East Carolina University audits financial aid programs as required by federal and state regulations.

  

Documentation

 

Reference Title

Location

Annual financial statement audit for fiscal year 2008-2009

FIN-2009-6065

Annual financial statement audit for fiscal year 2009-2010

FIN-2010-6065

Annual financial statement audit for fiscal year 2010-2011

FIN-2011-6065

Baseline Standards for Financial Aid

UNC GA Financial Aid Baseline Standards v12

Comprehensive Single Audit Report for North Carolina,2008-2009

FIN-2009-8730

Comprehensive Single Audit Report for North Carolina, 2009-2010

FIN-2010-8730

Comprehensive Single Audit Report for North Carolina, 2010-2011

FIN-2011-8730

Eligibility and Certification Approval Report: Action Date 3/7/2012

Eligibility and Certification Approval Report

Eligibility and Certification Approval Report: Action Date 3/21/2012

Approval Letter_ East Carolina University - 00292300

Expedited Final Program Review

Expedited Final Program Review

Federal Student Aid Program Participation Agreement

PPA_ OPE ID 00292300_ PPA Expiration Date 12-31-2017

Final Audit Determination

Final Audit Determination

NCSEAA Program Review Letter

NCSEAA Program Review Letter

NCSEAA Program Review Report

NCSEAA Program Review

UNC: Finance Improvement and Transformation (FIT) Dashboard of Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

 

UNC FIT KPI Dashboard Report 0911