OIG Audit: Frequently Asked Questions

April 4th, 2012 | SMWC


Does this change SMWC's accreditation?

"Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission without interruption since 1919. In its evaluations of the College's educational offerings the Commission has found those offerings to be of appropriate academic quality. The recent recommendation by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Education regarding past awards of federal student aid creates no jeopardy for the College's accreditation status. The College remains in good standing with the Higher Learning Commission."

     -from the Higher Learning Commission

Read more about other SMWC accreditation.

Does this jeopardize my degree in any way?

As President Dottie King has indicated, we are proceeding with “business as usual.”  The institution is fully accredited and we will continue to educate students and confer degrees. This is a disagreement regarding the classification of our distance program. We are confident in a positive resolution as we continue our dialogue with the Department of Education.  


Will this affect my financial aid?

No. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has disbursed and will continue to disburse Title IV funding.  These recommendations will not affect any student’s financial aid package.


Are you a correspondence program?

No. The regular interaction between our regular faculty and the students of the Woods Online program is significant and important. The program materials and learning outcomes are completely aligned with our campus courses and the programs (Campus and Woods Online) are assessed exactly the same way.


Is $42M a real number to be paid back?

We are confident that the Department of Education will determine after our current dialogue and analysis that we are and have been fully compliant. 


When will we know the decision of the Department of Education?

The OIG audit has been in process for almost 2 years. The recommendation has now been forwarded to the DOE. SMWC is now in discussions with the DOE and look forward to taking adequate time for a positive resolution.


How does President King feel about this recommendation?

President Dottie King is looking forward to the dialogue with the Department of Education. She feels they will have more reasoned interpretation of the applicable laws and she is confident this situation will be resolved in a positive outcome for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Read the Statement of President Dottie L. King