VA Student Financial Aid:

Opportunity to Reduce Overlap in Approving Education and Training Programs

HEHS-96-22: Published: Oct 30, 1995. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 1995.

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Carlotta C. Joyner
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO determined the extent to which state approving agencies (SAA) assessment activities overlap the efforts of other agencies.

GAO found that: (1) $10.5 million of the $12 million paid to SAA in 1994 was spent to conduct assessments already performed by the Department of Education; (2) these assessments involved reviews of accredited academic and vocational schools; (3) the remaining SAA assessment activities did not overlap the activities of other agencies, since they involved on-the-job training programs and unaccredited schools; and (4) although SAA use evaluation standards that differ from those of other reviewing agencies, SAA activity should be reduced to schools and programs not subject to Department of Education approval.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Neither the House nor Senate has proposed eliminating or reducing funding for VA's state approving agencies; therefore, it appears likely that the recommended action will not be implemented by Congress in the foreseeable future.

    Matter: Congress may wish to consider whether it is necessary for VA to continue contracting with SAA to review and approve educational programs at schools that have already been reviewed and certified by the Department of Education.


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