Department of Education

Status of Actions to Improve the Management of Student Financial Aid Gao ID: HEHS-96-143 July 12, 1996

Each year, the Department of Education provides students with billions of dollars in loans and grants for postsecondary education. Concerns have been raised over the years about fraud and abuse in these student aid programs, especially the Federal Family Education Loan Program and the Pell Grant Program. Concerns have also been expressed about the inadequacy of the Department's procedures for gatekeeping--determining which schools can participate in these programs--and program review. In total, a Senate committee, the Department's Office of Inspector General, and GAO have made more than 200 recommendations to the Department. This report discusses the (1) Department's response to these recommendations and whether the Department's actions address the recommendations and (2) reasons the Department gave for not acting on some recommendations.

GAO found that: (1) Education has made progress in initiating actions to address some recommendations; (2) some of Education's corrective actions have resulted in major program changes; (3) Education will not address 19 recommendations because it believes they have already been addressed by previous corrective actions; and (4) some corrective actions do not address Education's program management problems.

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