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Improvements Needed to Gauge Effectiveness and Expend State Funds Available for Postsecondary Financial Aid (October 2019)


North Carolina provides state-supported educational financial aid to students seeking a postsecondary education through scholarships, grants, and educational loans. Through the State Education Assistance Authority (SEAA), aid programs and aid funds are administered and disbursed to students demonstrating financial need. The Program Evaluation Division found that state-supported educational financial aid promotes access and reduces costs but need still exists. Further, the effectiveness of educational loan programs intended to fill critical employment shortages is unclear and improvements could be made to assist the State in improving its ability to assess the outcomes of students who receive state support and attend private institutions. PED also found that SEAA faces long-term sustainability challenges in administering the UNC Need Based Grant. The General Assembly should modify state law to fully expend state-supported educational financial aid, direct increased reporting from private institutions, direct SEAA to improve internal practices, and consider appropriating program administration funds for the UNC Need Based Grant.

Final Report

Executive Summary


Mandatory Evaluation Components



Relevant Legislation:

  • H1052/S726 – An act to make necessary improvements to ensure state funds for postsecondary educational financial aid programs are fully expended and to gauge the effectiveness of those programs. This legislation was not enacted.

Agency Actions:

Press Coverage: