- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 29, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - An audit finds students owe South Louisiana Community College $2.9 million as a result of the college’s inadequate collection procedures.

The Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s report says failure to establish adequate collection procedures increases the risk that the accounts will become uncollectible.

Auditors found that while the college does have a policy to send students three collection letters prior to reporting them to the Attorney General’s Office for nonpayment, the policy wasn’t always followed.

Personnel turnover and a switch to a new payment system played a role in some of the auditors’ findings, SLCC vice chancellor for student services David Volpe wrote in the college’s response to the findings.

Volpe says a new process should be in place by March 31.

The college’s “inadequate collection procedures” for student accounts was flagged in last year’s audit, as well, though the college did resolve issues related to its management of the federal Pell grant program, the report says.

However, auditors found other issues of the college’s noncompliance with federal regulations regarding federal reporting practices for student eligibility for Title IV funds and could potentially owe the U.S. Department of Education up to $53,196.

The audit also reveals inefficient practices when determining students’ eligibility for federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans, with auditors finding some students were eligible for loans but were not offered or notified of the option. Those errors were identified by the college and corrected at the end of the 2014-15 academic year, Volpe wrote.

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