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Statement in Response to Tuition Assistance Program Audit
5/31/2013 - RIVERDALE, N.Y.—The College of Mount Saint Vincent responded today to the Office of the State Comptroller’s report regarding the recent audit of the Tuition Assistance Program.

The State Comptroller determined that the College incorrectly certified some students as eligible for Tuition Assistance Program awards. The audit revealed that 15 students were incorrectly certified during the audit’s three year sample period ending in 2010, less than one percent of the total student body. The State determined that those students should not have received awards totaling $23,523. 

The College agreed that a few of the 15 students received erroneous awards due to human error but disagreed with the auditors’ determination of ineligibility based on academic standing or assessment of full-time status in the balance of the cases. Following the State’s methodology of projecting the 15 disallowed awards across the student population of TAP payments over the three year period, the $23,523 translates into a requirement that the College pay the State more than $300,000.  The College is making payment in full. 

In light of the State’s findings, the College instituted a reexamination of State policies and a rigorous review of internal procedures to ensure ongoing compliance with all State requirements. The College has initiated further discussion with the Office of the State Comptroller to ensure compliance efforts meet and exceed standards. A spokesman acknowledged that “quite frankly, the errors were inexcusable but thankfully, we uncovered no cases of dishonesty or deception.”

The College of Mount Saint Vincent is an independent institution of higher education committed to the Catholic tradition.  It is not under ecclesiastical control.  It has asked the State Comptroller’s Office to change its erroneous characterization of the College as “a post-secondary parochial institution.”  The College contends that it is a violation of the State constitution to support ecclesiastical institutions with State funds and has objected to the recent expansion of TAP programs to some institutions under denominational control.  

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent is an independent, academically excellent, authentically inclusive liberal arts College.   It combines a strong core curriculum with a full array of majors in the liberal arts and selected professional fields of study, including accounting, business administration, education, and nursing. Through its School of Professional and Continuing Studies, the College extends its primary undergraduate mission by offering high quality graduate studies in business, education and nursing and an array of undergraduate and certificate programs serving non-traditional students. Mount Saint Vincent is located on a pastoral campus in New York City, with easy access to all the educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities that the City affords.

Media Contact:
Belle Hann
Director for College Relations
(718) 405-3345
belle.hann@mountsaintvincent.edu