Report looks unfavorably at higher education funding program

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A new report from the Missouri auditor recommends better oversight and clearer guidelines for a program that has awarded $109 million to public colleges and universities based on performance since 2014.

The audit says schools were allowed to submit their own data and pick their own peer institutions for comparison, making it possible for colleges and universities to submit favorable data and lower-performing schools as peers.

A statement from the Missouri Department of Higher Education says it has created more guidelines for determining peer groups and benchmarks since the period of the audit has passed. It will discuss the audit in a task force later this year.