Office of Education's Basic Grant Program Can Be Improved

HRD-77-91: Published: Sep 21, 1977. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 1977.

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The Basic Educational Opportunity Grant Program has provided financial aid to needy students, but often it has not met its legislative goal of being the foundation of financial aid for needy students.

The Office of Education has not established adequate controls to guarantee that information supplied by applicants and parents is accurate. As much as $24.3 million may have been awarded to ineligible students. Other basic grants of as much as $117.9 million were awarded without resolving conflicts in information. Because of problems in the program's information processing system, the Office could not provide needed technical assistance to participating schools and has not determined how postsecondary schools administer the Basic Grant Program.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare should direct the Office of Education to: more accurately estimate basic grant funding by extensively using the information available from program experience; provide students with application materials containing information about the Basic Grant Program, emphasizing its entitlement and student aid features; periodically assess the effect of the program's outreach efforts; improve technical assistance to participating schools and regularly review them onsite; require the program to get data from participating schools on students who drop out; include tests in the disbursement process to prevent students from receiving duplicate payments; and do more to get refunds from students who have withdrawn from tuition-free schools and from schools choosing not to act as the Office's disbursing agent.

    Agency Affected:


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