Preliminary estimates show Cape Fear Community College will have to repay the federal government about $80,000.
This stems from improperly documenting students who withdrew from class after receiving federal financial aid. Instead of going through the official withdrawal process, the students in question just stopped going to class.
According to the Department of Education, 56 percent of the college’s nearly 9,000 students in the 2015-16 school year received federal student aid. Federal financial assistance for CFCC students totaled $26 million that year, which by our calculations breaks down to just over $5,000 per student receiving aid.
The feds require students to attend a certain number of classes to qualify for federal financial aid. CFCC says it did not have a formal documentation process in place for students who unofficially withdrew.
After the federal audit that uncovered these issues, CFCC implemented new policies so this won't be a problem moving forward. CFCC estimates that it owes the Department of Education about $80,000 for previous errors of this type, but it won't have an official total until it gets a final report from the Department of Education.
This all came to light during a federal program review in February by Department of Education investigators. CFCC says these reviews are conducted routinely and colleges are selected at random. This was the first program review of this kind for CFCC.
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