The Review Process

PCO conducts a comprehensive compliance review of each institution participating in the Cal Grant and Specialized Programs approximately every 4.5 years.

Review Selection

No prior review
Referral: The Commission's Grant Services Division requests a review due to reconciliation problems or other program deficiencies.

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, facsimile and electronic 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 approximately 2 months 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 and itemizing the information and documentation that the school needs to submit to the auditor. These items include, but are not limited to:

School catalogs
Student expense budgets
Policies and procedures for the review period
Completed program survey

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
Job Placement
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 Review Report

The school will receive the draft review report identifying areas of noncompliance, required action, and any resulting liabilities within 90 days. The school must respond within 30 days from receipt of the draft review report.


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