34 CFR § 668.24 - Record retention and examinations.
(a) Program records. An institution shall establish and maintain, on a current basis, any application for title IV, HEA program funds and program records that document -
(1) Its eligibility to participate in the title IV, HEA programs;
(2) The eligibility of its educational programs for title IV, HEA program funds;
(3) Its administration of the title IV, HEA programs in accordance with all applicable requirements;
(4) Its financial responsibility, as specified in this part;
(5) Information included in any application for title IV, HEA program funds; and
(6) Its disbursement and delivery of title IV, HEA program funds.
(b) Fiscal records.
(1) An institution shall account for the receipt and expenditure of title IV, HEA program funds in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
(2) An institution shall establish and maintain on a current basis -
(i) Financial records that reflect each HEA, title IV program transaction; and
(ii) General ledger control accounts and related subsidiary accounts that identify each title IV, HEA program transaction and separate those transactions from all other institutional financial activity.
(c) Required records.
(1) The records that an institution must maintain in order to comply with the provisions of this section include but are not limited to -
(i) The Student Aid Report (SAR) or Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) used to determine eligibility for title IV, HEA program funds;
(ii) Application data submitted to the Secretary, lender, or guaranty agency by the institution on behalf of the student or parent;
(iii) Documentation of each student's or parent borrower's eligibility for title IV, HEA program funds;
(iv) Documentation relating to each student's or parent borrower's receipt of title IV, HEA program funds, including but not limited to documentation of -
(A) The amount of the grant, loan, or FWS award; its payment period; its loan period, if appropriate; and the calculations used to determine the amount of the grant, loan, or FWS award;
(B) The date and amount of each disbursement or delivery of grant or loan funds, and the date and amount of each payment of FWS wages;
(C) The amount, date, and basis of the institution's calculation of any refunds or overpayments due to or on behalf of the student, or the treatment of title IV, HEA program funds when a student withdraws; and
(D) The payment of any overpayment or the return of any title IV, HEA program funds to the title IV, HEA program fund, a lender, or the Secretary, as appropriate;
(v) Documentation of and information collected at any initial or exit loan counseling required by applicable program regulations;
(vi) Reports and forms used by the institution in its participation in a title IV, HEA program, and any records needed to verify data that appear in those reports and forms; and
(vii) Documentation supporting the institution's calculations of its completion or graduation rates under §§ 668.46 and 668.49.
(2) In addition to the records required under this part -
(1) An institution shall maintain required records in a systematically organized manner.
(2) An institution shall make its records readily available for review by the Secretary or the Secretary's authorized representative at an institutional location designated by the Secretary or the Secretary's authorized representative.
(3) An institution may keep required records in hard copy or in microform, computer file, optical disk, CD-ROM, or other media formats, provided that -
(i) Except for the records described in paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section, all record information must be retrievable in a coherent hard copy format or in other media formats acceptable to the Secretary;
(ii) An institution shall maintain the Student Aid Report (SAR) or Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) used to determine eligibility for title IV, HEA program funds in the format in which it was received by the institution, except that the SAR may be maintained in an imaged media format;
(iii) Any imaged media format used to maintain required records must be capable of reproducing an accurate, legible, and complete copy of the original document, and, when printed, this copy must be approximately the same size as the original document;
(iv) Any document that contains a signature, seal, certification, or any other image or mark required to validate the authenticity of its information must be maintained in its original hard copy or in an imaged media format; and
(4) If an institution closes, stops providing educational programs, is terminated or suspended from the title IV, HEA programs, or undergoes a change of ownership that results in a change of control as described in 34 CFR 600.31, it shall provide for -
(i) The retention of required records; and
(ii) Access to those records, for inspection and copying, by the Secretary or the Secretary's authorized representative, and, for a school participating in the FFEL Program, the appropriate guaranty agency.
(e) Record retention. Unless otherwise directed by the Secretary -
(1) An institution shall keep records relating to its administration of the Federal Perkins Loan, FWS, FSEOG, Federal Pell Grant, ACG, National SMART Grant, or TEACH Grant Program for three years after the end of the award year for which the aid was awarded and disbursed under those programs, provided that an institution shall keep -
(i) The Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate in the Federal Perkins Loan, FSEOG, and FWS Programs (FISAP), and any records necessary to support the data contained in the FISAP, including “income grid information,” for three years after the end of the award year in which the FISAP is submitted; and
(ii) Repayment records for a Federal Perkins loan, including records relating to cancellation and deferment requests, in accordance with the provisions of 34 CFR 674.19;
(i) An institution shall keep records relating to a student or parent borrower's eligibility and participation in the FFEL or Direct Loan Program for three years after the end of the award year in which the student last attended the institution; and
(ii) An institution shall keep all other records relating to its participation in the FFEL or Direct Loan Program, including records of any other reports or forms, for three years after the end of the award year in which the records are submitted; and
(3) An institution shall keep all records involved in any loan, claim, or expenditure questioned by a title IV, HEA program audit, program review, investigation, or other review until the later of -
(i) The resolution of that questioned loan, claim, or expenditure; or
(ii) The end of the retention period applicable to the record.
(f) Examination of records.
(1) An institution that participates in any title IV, HEA program and the institution's third-party servicer, if any, shall cooperate with an independent auditor, the Secretary, the Department of Education's Inspector General, the Comptroller General of the United States, or their authorized representatives, a guaranty agency in whose program the institution participates, and the institution's accrediting agency, in the conduct of audits, investigations, program reviews, or other reviews authorized by law.
(2) The institution and servicer must cooperate by -
(i) Providing timely access, for examination and copying, to requested records, including but not limited to computerized records and records reflecting transactions with any financial institution with which the institution or servicer deposits or has deposited any title IV, HEA program funds, and to any pertinent books, documents, papers, or computer programs; and
(ii) Providing reasonable access to personnel associated with the institution's or servicer's administration of the title IV, HEA programs for the purpose of obtaining relevant information.
(3) The Secretary considers that an institution or servicer has failed to provide reasonable access to personnel under paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section if the institution or servicer -
(i) Refuses to allow those personnel to supply all relevant information;
(ii) Permits interviews with those personnel only if the institution's or servicer's management is present; or
(iii) Permits interviews with those personnel only if the interviews are tape recorded by the institution or servicer.
(4) Upon request of the Secretary, or a lender or guaranty agency in the case of a borrower under the FFEL Program, an institution or servicer promptly shall provide the requester with any information the institution or servicer has respecting the last known address, full name, telephone number, enrollment information, employer, and employer address of a recipient of title IV funds who attends or attended the institution.
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