A school must refer to the Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG):
- Any credible information indicating that an applicant for federal student aid may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with his or her application.
- Any credible information indicating that any employee, third-party servicer, or other agent of the institution that acts in a capacity that involves the administration of the Title IV, HEA programs, or the receipt of funds under those programs, may have engaged in fraud, misrepresentation, conversion or breach of fiduciary responsibility, or other illegal conduct involving the Title IV, HEA programs.
Common misconduct when applying for aid includes: false claims of independent student status, false claims of citizenship, use of false identities, forgery of signatures of certifications, and false statements of income. For these purposes fraud is the intent to deceive as opposed to a mistake.
NOTE: not all complaints filed with the OIG will generate an investigation, audit or inspection by the OIG. Matters may be referred to another office within the U.S. Department of Education or to an external entity as appropriate.