The Department of Finance and Administration administers the largest portion of State funds in the MHEC budget, over $400 million annually in State aid programs to community colleges, independent colleges and universities, and regional higher education centers. Major activities associated with these responsibilities include reviewing and certifying audited enrollment numbers; analyzing financial statements; calculating funding formulas and determining the level of State aid; certifying the use of funds; analyzing annual budget requests; developing guidelines; verifying documentation and processing all requests for State matching funds; and preparing budget projections. Other responsibilities include developing the annual operating funding guidelines for public four-year colleges and universities and administering the enhancement fund for the State’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In addition, staff members prepare fiscal notes on issues affecting higher education policy and provide research and data analysis on a myriad of financing issues.
Office of Budget and Finance
The Office of Budget and Administration is responsible for the overall fiscal and budgetary coordination for the agency including procurement; accounts payable/receivable; payroll; budget formulation and submission; and fiscal year end close-out. The Office is also responsible for accurately recording and processing financial transactions for all fund sources for the agency. Duties also include monitoring programs within the agency budget, revenue collections, grants and inventory management, and general day to day accounting activities.
Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA)
The Office is responsible for all State student financial aid programs, administering over $100 million in grants and scholarships in Maryland. Financial aid programs include need-based grants which are awarded on the basis of the student's ability to pay; merit-based scholarships given to students with special talents; career-based scholarships for students entering certain workforce programs; awards to unique populations, such as military veterans; and legislative scholarships. Students may use this aid at community colleges, independent colleges and universities, private career schools, and State public four-year institutions.
Through the Maryland College Aid Processing System (MDCAPS), the Office processes State scholarship applications and allocates available funds. Using this System, students can apply on-line for certain scholarships, check application status, accept or decline awards, and change enrollment status.
Office of Facilities/ Capital Budget Oversight
The Office is responsible for capital budget management for higher education. It administers the Community College Capital Grant program, an $80 million capital bond program, which provides State assistance for the construction and improvement of facilities at community colleges. The Office also administers the Facilities Master Plan and capital review process for all higher education institutions, and is the only State agency that performs an academic analysis of all higher education capital proposals. In addition, it develops and maintains capital budget priorities, and ranks capital budget requests in relation to budget priorities.
Office of Information Technology (IT)
The Office of Information Technology (IT) manages the technical needs of the Commission. This unit is responsible for (1) providing technical support and security for the overall architecture of hardware, software, and local area network infrastructure to support the activities and services of the agency; (2) managing the Maryland Annual Collection (MAC) system consisting of over 20 aggregate surveys and 9 major data systems for enrollment, degree, financial aid, student registration, teacher education, and employee data from 59 institutions and financial aid from 170+ private career schools; and (3) submitting higher education data to the Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System (IPEDS), a federal requirement, and the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center (MLDSC), a state requirement.