Stony Brook University owes nearly $4.2 million in state-funded tuition aid that was awarded to ineligible students over three years, according to a report released on Friday, Jan. 9 by the Office of the New York State Comptroller.
The audit states that the university incorrectly certified many students as being able to receive financial aid under the state Tuition Assistance Program.
TAP provides grants for full-time undergraduate students who are New York state residents and meet income requirements.
The comptroller’s office reviewed 175 randomly selected TAP awards in a period from 2008 to 2011 and disallowed 21 awards for students who were either not in full-time attendance or were not in good academic standing.
Some TAP recipients did not enroll in at least 12 credits in their program of study or repeated courses for which they had already earned credit, the report states.
In an email to the university community regarding the audit, Provost Dennis Assanis called for a review of what he described as an “outdated” interpretation of State Education Department regulations.
“If students who earn their college degree in four years are disallowed TAP, some because of AP classes they took in high school, something is wrong,” Assanis said in the email. “Should these students be treated as transfer students, as the SED position suggests?”
The audit states the university owes the Higher Education Services Corporation, the state agency that administers TAP aid, the $4.2 million plus interest. Assanis said the university will not ask for reimbursement from the audited students.
“The University will make appropriate restitution in ways that will not harm our students or our academic mission,” he said.
See the report here: