August 27, 2012
audit OF UNC SCHOOL SYSTEM – ALLOCATION & RECOGNITIONOF GI BILL REVENUES for residency classification ANDCORELATION TO providing ADEQUATE SERVICES, RESOURCES,AND ASSISTANCE TO RECIPIENTS
WHY WE DID THIS AUDIT
The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) reported in 2010 - 24,508 Veterans and/or Dependents used GI Bill Education Benefits in North Carolina. Effective August 1, 2011 - the
Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2010
(Public Law 111-377) detrimentallyimpacted thousands of Veterans attending public colleges in North Carolina with the issue of in-state residency for tuition purposes, the results of which left Veterans with a financial burden of paying the difference between the in-state and out-of-state tuition rate. Prior to this change, theVA paid up to $17,500 in tuition per academic year, regardless of residency classification.While the State faced many challenges due to such complex changes in the GI Bill, the UNCSchool System implemented a working group for the System-wide Evaluation &Recommendation for Veterans Education & Services. The goal is to
“improve access, retentionand graduation rates for active-duty service members, Veterans, and their families at UNC institutions”.
We conducted this audit to determine whether the UNC School System and respective institutions properly classified GI Bill education beneficiaries for residency, and whether they providedadequate funding for services, facilities, resources, and assistance, in a proportional manner.
WHAT WE FOUND
Prior to August 1, 2011 residency for tuition purposes was of no concern for GI Bill beneficiariesor UNC System Schools because the GI Bill paid tuition rates up to $17,500 per academic year,regardless of whether the school classified the student as in-state or out-of-state.In 2010 there were approximately 10,200 GI Bill recipients attending the 16 public universitiesand approximately 12,600 attending the 116 community colleges within the UNC School System.Based on these numbers and the median tuition rates for both - assuming only 50% of suchstudents were classified as out-of-state residents, the UNC School System received revenues of approximately $166,000,000 from student Veterans in 2010. Despite the numerous requests we'vemade to the UNC School System and the schools, for financial records and reports segregatingthe GI Bill revenues, the only consistent response thus far is none at all and they don't know. Theunsettling questions regarding possible waste and abuse are surfacing due to inconsistency anduncooperative behaviors from the UNC School System and schools within.