6 Howard University employees fired after investigation on misappropriated financial aid funds

Howard University officials say six employees have been fired, following an internal investigation of misappropriation of University-provided financial aid funding.

President of Howard University, Wayne A. I. Frederick said in a statement on Wednesday, that he was alerted in December 2016 that financial aid funds may have been misappropriated and began an investigation.

Frederick says auditors completed their investigation and reported the results in May 2017.

"The investigation found that from 2007 to 2016, University grants were given to some University employees who also received tuition remission," said the statement.

The audit revealed that for some, the combination of University grants and tuition remission exceeded the total cost of attendance. As a result, some individuals received inappropriate refunds.

The University says it looked into actions of individual employee actions and as a result, six employees were fired from the University "for gross misconduct and neglect of duties. We will refer this matter for criminal prosecution, as appropriate."

The statement from University officials says these grants are from the institution itself and are not federal funds or donor directed funds.

Frederick said he "self-reported this issue to the Department of Education and assured them we would provide regular updates on the investigation" in July 2017.

Officials say they brought in an outside education firm, Third Coast Higher Education, "to determine if any misappropriation of federal funds occurred. At this point, Third Coast found no misappropriation of federal funds related to this issue."

Howard University officials say they have put several measures in place including:

"While this has been a very difficult and disappointing situation, I know our campus community deserves better and I am committed to ensuring that each of our campus offices operate with integrity and are the best that higher education has to offer," said Frederick.