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Howard Removed from HCM1 Status, Returned to Advanced Payment Method

By Donovan Thomas, News Editor

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Howard University was returned to the advanced method of payment effective immediately on Dec. 17, 2019. Under this new method of payment, the university can now withdraw Title IV funds without approval from the Philadelphia School Participation Division. Howard University is no longer required to make disbursements to eligible students with institutional funds receiving funds from the Department of Education.

“We’ve been very diligent in partnering with the Department of Education to improve our Office of Financial Aid to more effectively administer aid and improve levels of service provided,” said President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “We will continue to work closely with the Department of Education and other entities to improve service and continue to provide the world-class education that our students deserve.”

An extensive program review of the university by the Department of Education began in April 2018. Later in August of  2018, the department placed Howard University on Heightened Cash Monitoring 2 status to examine the management of the institution’s financial aid. Howard University was later removed from the Heightened Cash Monitoring 2 (HCM2) method of payment and elevated to Heightened Cash Monitoring 1 (HCM1)  on June 27, 2019.

The university has taken various efforts since April 2018 to improve the Office of Financial Aid. Some notable changes include the hiring of a  Director of Financial Aid, Associate Provost for Enrollment Management and additional staffing in the Financial Aid Office. 

The approval for all University grant awards is now handled by the Budget Office (for unrestricted institutional aid) and the Controller’s Office (for donor-directed aid) prior to being awarded by the Financial Aid Office. Additionally, a  limited number of university officials have access to the Banner Financial Aid module. Lastly, Financial Aid Services, an outside firm, has undertaken a comprehensive range of tasks related to the improvement of Howard’s administration of financial aid.

“In alignment with our five-year strategic plan, our journey of continuous progress is well underway. Further improvements and enhancements continue to occur in our enrollment management area, which includes our financial aid office,” said Frederick. “This demonstrable success is testimony to the incredible leadership by senior members of my team and the Office of Financial Aid to quickly implement enhancements to move Howard Forward.”

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