RECONCILING PELL GRANTS

Pell Grant Reconciliation is the process by which a school reviews and compares Pell Grant data recorded on the Department of Education’s (the Department’s) systems with the information in the school’s internal records. This process should be performed on a regular basis, and is recommended at least monthly.

The two types of reconciliation are:

Internal Reconciliation

This is the reconciliation of disbursement transactions (actual disbursements and adjustments) and related cash transactions (Drawdowns, Drawdown Adjustments, Refunds of Cash, and Returns) between your Business Office records and Financial Aid system. If discrepancies are found, your school should document these and resolve them in a timely manner.

External Reconciliation

This is the reconciliation of internal disbursement and cash balances from the Business Office and Financial Aid Office with disbursement and cash balances from the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System. At a minimum, this reconciliation should be completed at least monthly to ensure that data is correct in all systems and that cash management and disbursement reporting timelines are being met. If you have completed your internal reconciliation first, your school will have fewer discrepancies to resolve when you perform this external reconciliation. The Department offers various tools to assist you with external reconciliation. More information about these tools is provided in the attachment to this announcement.

Schools may perform internal reconciliation and external reconciliation in either order. However, if a school has completed internal reconciliation first, your school will have fewer discrepancies to resolve when you perform the external reconciliation. The Department offers various tools to assist you with external reconciliation, as outlined in Question 9 in the attached Pell Grant Program Reconciliation Questions and Answers.

It is very important for schools to maintain good communication between the Business Office and the Financial Aid Office to successfully reconcile both internally and externally. Reconciliation is a shared responsibility. It requires joint action by the Financial Aid and Business Office to identify discrepancies and any missing data, and to correct these in a timely manner.

Schools should document their reconciliation process and the resolution of any identified discrepancies. For specific information to assist your school in reconciling the Pell Grant program check out the Department’s new Q & A here: http://bit.ly/2m8afFd