Financial Aid Fraud Policy and Procedure (10/2017)
There are situations where students and/or parents willfully falsify or misrepresent information for the purpose of obtaining financial aid that a student is not eligible for. As stewards of Title IV programs and funds, California Christian College is obligated to ensure processes are in place to protect against fraud. The Financial Aid Office is required to have a policy of referral when confronted with actual or suspected cases of fraud and abuse [34 CFR 668.53(a)(5), 668.14(g)]. The regulations require only that the College refer the suspected case for investigation, not that we reach a firm conclusion about the propriety of the conduct.
The Financial Aid Office must identify and resolve discrepancies in the information received from different sources with respect to a student’s application for Title IV aid. These items include, but are not limited to:
- Student aid applications
- Need analysis documents (e.g., Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) and Student Aid Reports (SARs))
- Federal income tax returns, tax transcripts or account transcripts
- Documents and information related to a student’s citizenship
- School credentials (e.g., high school diploma)
- Documentation of the student’s Social Security Number (SSN)
- Compliance with the Selective Service registration requirement and other factors related to students’ eligibility for Title IV funds
Some forms of financial aid fraud include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Forged signatures on an application, verification documentation or master promissory notes
- Falsified documents-including reporting members that are not part of your household
- False statements of income
- False statements of citizenship
- Use of fictitious names, addresses, SSNs
- False claims of independent status
Policy for Fraud
Individuals (students and/or parents or employees or other individuals) who willfully submit fraudulent information and/or documentation to obtain financial aid funds will be investigated to the fullest extent possible. All cases of fraud and abuse will be reported to the proper authorities.
Procedures for Fraud
If the Financial Aid Coordinator (FAC) suspects or determines intentional misrepresentation of facts, false statements, or alteration of documents which resulted or could result in the awarding or disbursement of funds for which the student is not eligible, the FAC will place the student’s aid on hold. The FAC will request a meeting with the student and/or parent or other involved party. This meeting may also include the President or other college administration as a third party witness. From that meeting if fraud is determined or suspected it will be reported to the President (if not included in the meeting) and then referred to the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Education. In some cases, the College reserves the right to report suspected instances of fraud directly to the Office of Inspector General.
If the student does not agree to a meeting then the FAC may: 1) not process a financial aid application until the situation is resolved satisfactorily; 2) not award financial aid; 3) cancel financial aid; or 4) determine that financial aid will not be processed for future years. No further aid will be disbursed until situation is resolved.
Inspector General’s Hotline: 1-800-MIS-USED
Office of Inspector General
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1510