Use of Federally Appropriated Funds by Howard University for Administrative Expenses

HRD-82-50: Published: Mar 12, 1982. Publicly Released: Mar 12, 1982.

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GAO was requested to review Howard University's use of federally appropriated funds for administrative expenses. Concern was expressed about the data provided by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) which indicated that Howard's 1978-80 institutional or administrative expenses, as a percentage of educational and general expenditures, were generally four or five times higher than in similar universities. According to NCES data, Howard's administrative expenses in recent years have averaged about 23 percent of its educational and general expenditures.

GAO found that, for fiscal year (FY) 1981, Howard received appropriations of approximately $134 million. The remainder of its total budget of about $247 million was obtained from student fees and tuition and other revenue sources. Howard initially reported that nearly $29.3 million of its total expenses were used for administrative expenses. However, the administrative expenses reported by Howard to NCES were overstated because expenses amounting close to $15 million were erroneously classified. After adjusting for the errors, Howard's administrative expenses for FY 1981 were about 10 percent of its educational and general expenditures, a figure comparable to other similar universities.

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