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May 13, 1978 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-05-13

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The Michigan Daily-Saturday, May 13, 1978-Page 5
Financial aid cheaters beware

Financial aid applicants beware: Big
Brother is watching you.
A new computer designed to catch
cheaters has rejected one-fourth of the
first 800,000 applications it has
processed for federal basic educational
opportunity grants.
Education and Welfare (HEW) which
administers the grants ordered the
computer audits to search for incon-
sistencies or omissions in applications.
The computer compares the figures
listed for the applicant's family income
against the amount of taxes paid. If
there are apparent discrepancies bet-
ween the two amounts, the computer
automatically rejects the application
and returns it to the sender for ad-
ditional certifying information.
Application for University-funded
financial aid are similarly processed by
computer. In order to avoid evaluating
applications with false information, the
University, like HEW, checks to ascer-

Big Brother is watching

tain that the applicant's tax figures
properly correlate with the listed in-
come figures.
FEWER THAN ONE per cent of the
applicants for University financial aid
purposely evade the rules, estimated
William Grothe, assistant financial aid
Grothe said there are many ways of
checking the validity of the information
presented on the financial applications.
"If a person ends all numbers in zeros
than he is most likely estimating his in-
come and taxes paid," he noted.
Since close scrutiny of all forms and
verification of all information would
require a large administrative
overhead, the financial aid office con-
centrates on detecting large discrepan-
cies between the figures on the ap-
ONLY ABOUT 10 per cent of ap-
plications for University financial aid

are returned, Gothe said. Most of the
errors found, he added, are due to the
complexity of the forms, not a
deliberate attempt to cheat the Univer-
sity. Financial aid forms, Gothe said,
are as complex and detailed as in-
come tax forms, but, "There is no H. &
R. Block to assist the applicant in filling
out these forms."
Gothe said errors might be avoided if
the application was simplified, but this
would be difficult due to the large
amount of information required by the
financial aid office.
"Things are underway to simplify
applying for financial aid," he said,
"but the financial aid office has a com-
plex job analyzing various pieces of
data on a massive scale."
HIS OFFICE IS currently trying to
make the application process easier
and avoid errors by reducing the
amount of paperwork the student must
handle. Incoming freshpeople and tran-

sfer students need only check a box on
the admissions application and com-
plete a financial statement to apply for
The most frequent mistake, Gothe
said, is reporting tax withheld as the
amount of tax paid. This may occur
because many families complete-their
applications in November and Decem-
ber, before they actuallyrfile their
income tax forms. To reduce the
frequency of this error, students have
now been informed that the financial
aid office will not begin processing ap-
plications until January 1. This allows
an adequate amount of time to elapse so
that tax forms may be completed and
the applicant has accurate income tax
figures available.
The financial aid office is also trying
to reduce applicant error by providing
more information and additional
assistancetofamilies applying for aid,
Attempts are also being made to in-
crease the clarity and accessability of
its information and simplify the
technical instructions necessary to
completethe forms.
Approximately 20,000 students apply
for financial aid each year at the
University, Gothe said. Of this amount,
between 10-15,000 will receive some
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Gov. calls election to fill Geralds' seat

LANSING (UPI) - Gov. William
Milliken yesterday called a special
election for July 11 to fill the vacant
seat of convicted embezzler Monte
Geralds who was ousted from the state
House n an 84-20 vote Wednesday.
Geralds, the first lawmaker ever ex-
pelled from the state legislature, said
"at this point" he still plans to try to
win back his seat by running in that
special election.
BUT THE Madison Heights
Democrat left open the possibility that
'It is important - that
citizens of the 66th
representative district
have the opportunity to
quickly decide who will
represent them in Lan-
-Rep. Joseph Forbes
(D-Oak Park)
he will change his mind, saying he wan-
ts to assess the impact of the ouster and
his sentencing scheduled for next week.
Whether the House would agree to
seat him is uncertain. It is also unclear
whether it could legally refuse to do so
under the state Constitution.
House Democratic Floor Leader
Joseph Forbes, who strongly favored

expulsion, said at this time he has no
"personal feelings" about whether
Geralds should be barred from serving
if he is elected.
"IT IS IMPORTANT that citizens of
the 66th representative district have the
opportunity to quickly decide who will
represent them in Lansing," Milliken
"The Democratic leadership in the
House, in passing the resolution ex-
pelling Mr. Geralds, requested that I
call an election 'at the earliest possible
"This timetable serves that end."
is the last date for convening minor,
party caucuses or conventions for the
May 23 is the last date to file
nominating petitions or a filing fee,
May 26 is the last date for withdrawal
by persons who have filed petitions and
June 20 is the date for the special
primary, if it is needed.
The victor in the special election will
Just for the
health of it.
Phys cal Education Publc nformation
A me 1,can Ali9ance f orH ea
PhysiclEduscation and Rrain n> 0

serve only for the remainder of
Geralds' term - until the end of the
The primary for the full two-year
term will be held about a month later in
Geralds was convicted of embezzling
$24,000 from a former law client.

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Tuesday, May 1b


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