Liberty University’s Financial Aid Office had reason for celebration today as it was announced that the university has received a 100-percent clean audit on all financial aid operations this year.
Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. met with the Financial Aid staff and other support offices to recognize this first-ever achievement.
“This is an amazing accomplishment,” he told the staff. “Liberty is becoming a model other colleges are looking at for how to succeed, how to make education more affordable, more accessible, and what you do is a big part of that.”
The annual audit was conducted by Goodman and Company, which reported “… we concur that Liberty University was compliant with federal requirements and there is no finding to report.”
Rob Ritz, Executive Director of Financial Aid, congratulated his staff, who helped process $544 million in aid last year; $375 million was federal money.
“It’s better to know that behind closed doors, where no one is looking, where students and parents don’t trod, that we’re doing things right, actually we’re doing them better, especially in light of what’s going on [illegally] in other financial aid institutions.”
Vice Chancellor Ron Godwin also spoke at the celebration, commenting on how the Financial Aid Office was redesigned, from the bottom to the top, to accommodate the anticipated growth of the university. The office went from 51 to 140 staff.
“Having gotten our Financial Aid house in good order, it allows us now to continue dramatic growth with the confidence that we will be able to handle these additional students,” he said.
Ritz said that as the largest private university in the country, Liberty is processing four or five times more money per year now than it did just four years ago.
Chris Johnson, Vice President of Enrollment Management, said the clean record is a result of the cooperation of many departments.
“Financial Aid is being honored, but we work very closely with the Registrar’s Office, Student Accounts and other divisions here at Liberty that have to partner and work together in order for it to be a clean audit, to keep us in good standing.”
Ted Whitney, Executive Director of Business Intelligence, said the audit’s findings are a blessing.
“I think God has really blessed our university because we do things correctly. I think he honors that.”