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School Responsibility

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School Responsibility | Scholarship Scams

All school personnel are responsible for reporting fraud, waste, or abuse to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General. You can make your report at the OIG Fraud Hotline. The regulations governing this responsibility can be found in the verification regulations under 34 CFR 668.16.

"(f) Develops and applies an adequate system to identify and resolve discrepancies in the information that the institution receives from different sources with respect to a student's application for financial aid under Title IV, HEA programs. In determining whether the institution's system is adequate, the Secretary considers whether the institution obtains and reviews--

  1. All student aid applications, need analysis documents, Statements of Educational Purpose, Statements of Registration Status, and eligibility notification documents presented by or on behalf of each applicant;
  2. Any documents, including any copies of State and Federal income tax returns, that are normally collected by the institution to verify information received from the student or other sources; and
  3. Any other information normally available to the institution regarding a student's citizenship, previous educational experience, documentation of the student's social security number, or other factors relating to the student's eligibility for funds under the Title IV, HEA programs;

(g) Refers to the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Education for investigation--

  1. After conducting the review of an application provided for under paragraph (f) of this section, any credible information indicating that an applicant for Title IV, HEA program assistance may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with his or her application. The type of information that an institution must refer is that which is relevant to the eligibility of the applicant for Title IV, HEA program assistance, or the amount of the assistance. Examples of this type of information are--

    (i) False claims of independent student status;
    (ii) False claims of citizenship;
    (iii) Use of false identities;
    (iv) Forgery of signatures or certifications; and
    (v) False statements of income; and

  2. Any credible information indicating that any employee, third-party servicer, or other agent of the institution that acts in a capacity that involves the administration of the Title IV, HEA programs, or the receipt of funds under those programs, may have engaged in fraud, is representation, conversion or breach of fiduciary responsibility, or other illegal conduct involving the Title IV, HEA programs. The type of information that an institution must refer is that which is relevant to the eligibility and funding of the institution and its students through the Title IV, HEA programs.”

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Last Modified: 03/04/2011