The Review Process


The Program Compliance Services conducts a comprehensive compliance review of each institution participating in the Cal Grant Program.

Review Selection

  • No prior review
  • Percentage of liabilities from total received for audit period.
  • Amount of collected liability from last review.
  • Number of findings from last review division, or any other state and federal agency or a pattern of inquiries about the school’s financial aid or accounting practices.
  • Date from last review
  • Cal Grant funds received for the award year.

Field Reviews

This review type involves a site visit lasting approximately 4 to 5 days.

Desk Reviews

The process is similar to the field review, except that communication is conducted via telephone, WebGrants and e-mail. A desk review may include a site visit when deemed necessary by the auditor in charge.

Initial Contact

The school will receive a phone call from an auditor prior to the scheduled field or desk review date. The auditor will provide school staff with the date of the review as well as the programs that will be reviewed.

Engagement Letter

After the initial contact, school staff will receive an engagement letter confirming the review date  review period and itemizing the information and documentation that the school needs to submit to the auditor prior to the review. These items include, but are not limited to:

  • School catalogs
  • Independent auditor’s report
  • Accounting records
  • WebGrants Information Security and Confidentiality Agreement and User Access Forms
  • Organizational Chart
  • Policies and procedures for the review period
  • Completed program survey
  • Other documents as needed by the auditor

Entrance Interview

An entrance interview will be conducted with school staff responsible for administering Commission programs. The auditor will explain what to expect during the review and answer any questions to facilitate the review process.

Review Items

Student files and all documents provided by the school will be examined by the auditor. Questions, comments and noncompliance issues will be directed to the school contact. The contact will have an opportunity to provide a written explanation and any necessary supporting documentation.

School Offices Contacted

The following school offices will be contacted during the compliance review:

  • Financial Aid 
  • Admissions 
  • Registrar
  • Accounting 
  • Additional offices and staff as deemed necessary

Exit Interview

The auditor will conduct an exit interview with school staff summarizing the outcome of the review.

The Draft Report

The school will receive the draft review report identifying areas of noncompliance, required action, and any resulting liabilities within 60 days. The school must respond within 30 days from receipt of the draft review report.

The Final Report

Once the school has responded satisfactorily to all findings, the Commission will issue a final report along with an invoive for the remittance of any liabilities, if any.


After all outstanding issues have been satisfactorily resolved and liabilities have been returned, the school will receive a final review report closing the review.