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Grambling could lose access to financial aid

12/11/2013, 1:27 p.m.
Grambling State University is in the worst financial state of the nine University of Louisiana campuses, system president Sandra Woodley recent confirmed.

GRAMBLING, La. (AP) - Grambling State University could be sanctioned or have its access to federal financial aid programs terminated, after it failed to return nearly $15,000 in funds that went to students who dropped out of school.

Around 90 percent of students at the historically black university receive some kind of aid, including federal Title IV funds like Pell Grants and Stafford Loans. If a student drops out, The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/J1ppor) the school and student are required to refund a proportionate amount of this aid to the U.S. Department of Education.

According to a report released Monday by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor, the school failed to note the unofficial withdrawal date 43 out of 49 randomly chosen students who dropped out between July 2012 and June 2013. As a consequence, Grambling failed to return to the federal government the aid of eight of these students, totaling $14,992, within 45 days.

This could result in the HBCU being sanctioned or even barred from receiving this aid.

Responding to the audit, Grambling President Frank Pogue recognized the error and said the school has taken steps to ensure the mistakes won't be made again. The response did not comment on possible federal sanctions for the lack of oversight.

Losing access to the funding would represent a major blow to the small school of just over 5,200, which earlier this year grabbed national headlines after its football team boycotted an away game in protest over the firing of head coach Doug Williams as well as complaints over poor facility conditions.

Grambling is in the worst financial state of the nine University of Louisiana campuses, system president Sandra Woodley recent confirmed. However, last November the school for the first time received an audit finding no significant control deficiencies, noncompliance or errors.