“This final audit report, Transparency of Proprietary Schools’ Financial Statement Data for Federal Student Aid Programmatic Decisionmaking, presents the results of our audit. The purpose of the audit was to determine whether the audited financial statements submitted by proprietary schools under Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 668.23 (34 C.F.R. § 668.23) included information about the schools’ use of Title IV funds to provide the transparency needed for U.S. Department of Education (Department) Federal Student Aid (FSA) officials to make informed decisions about program effectiveness. We reviewed the fiscal year (FY) 2010 audited financial statements for 521 proprietary schools that disbursed Title IV funds to students during Federal award year (AY) 2009–2011 and the underlying accounting records for 34 of these schools. We determined that the audited financial statements that proprietary schools submitted to the Department under 34 C.F.R. § 668.23 generally did not provide transparent information because the presentation of instruction and marketing expenses was not consistent across schools. We concluded that the financial information reported by schools is generally not useful to the Department for purposes of identifying how schools spent their funds or making meaningful comparisons of financial information across schools participating in the Title IV, Higher Education Act programs.”
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