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Fraud Reporting

As the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office continues to monitor reported instances of admission application, enrollment, and financial aid-related fraud, data are a key component of the evolving strategy.

Through discussion and feedback from the system, the Chancellor’s Office has outlined three types of fraud related to the admissions, enrollment, and financial aid process (as noted in the ESS-21-300-013 memo dated September 20, 2021):

  • Admission application fraud: The act of creating an OpenCCC account, submitting an application via CCCApply, and completing the application process with the college locally without the intent to attend college for educational purposes.

  • Enrollment fraud: The act of registering for classes without the intent to legitimately attend. Follows admissions application fraud and can only occur once a college has accepted the admissions application and enabled access to registration.

  • Financial aid fraud: The act of attempting to collect financial aid to which the applicant is not legally entitled. Follows admissions application fraud and enrollment fraud. Can occur only once a college has allowed the student to register for classes, and once relevant external agencies have accepted students' financial aid application and colleges have begun the process of disbursing local, state, and/or federal financial aid.

In order to respond to college and district concerns about fraud, the Chancellor’s Office requested data sharing (see memo DII-21-200-03). To better align that request with the aforementioned definitions and incorporate feedback to date, the Chancellor’s Office would like to provide the following revised request for:

  • Number of fraudulent admission applications identified: The total number of admission applications received from CCCApply that are suspected to be fraudulent. This includes applications marked as "likely fraud" within CCCApply.

  • Number of fraudulent enrollments identified: The total number of unique individuals who registered for at least one class, but were later suspected to be fraudulent.

  • Number of fraudulent financial aid applicants identified: The total number of individuals who applied for financial aid but were later suspected to be fraudulent.

  • Amount of federal, Cal Grant, and other local financial aid issued to fraudulent individuals: The total amount of financial aid funds by type disbursed to individuals who were later identified to be fraudulent.

These metrics should be reported for each individual college and delivered monthly, by the 10th of the following month. For instance, by the 10th of October 2021, all fraudulent activity between September 1, 2021, and September 30, 2021, should be reported for each college. Districts are welcomed to report for all relevant colleges, but are requested to do so separately.

Submit fraud reports here

These metrics will be used to assist the Chancellor’s Office and CCC Technology Center in detecting trends in fraudulent activity, monitoring the impact of implemented mitigation efforts, and appropriately direct future investments to reduce and eliminate fraud across the California Community Colleges.

In light of the ongoing investigation, and the potential for further harm to our systems from public disclosure of the information requested here, the Chancellor’s Office will protect this information from public disclosure to the full extent allowed by law. We also request that community college districts and their agents similarly protect this information.

The Chancellor’s Office remains committed to ensuring that any individual seeking a postsecondary education or training within the state have access to the CCC system. Ensuring that real students are able to successfully navigate various system and local processes requires attentiveness to their journeys, regardless of what they look like, how old they are, where they live, or what modality preferences they have (i.e., online, hybrid, hyflex or face-to-face courses).