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Regional Office Review of Applications for School Meals 2013

Resource type
Research type
Assessing/Improving Operations
Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Summary (38.34 KB)
PDF Icon Final Report (592.30 KB)

The study generates national estimates of administrative error in eligibility determinations and benefit issuance for free or reduced-price school meals.

  • For school year (SY) 2012-2013, local education agencies (LEAs) correctly certified 96.4% of students who applied for meal benefits.
  • LEAs assigned the correct free, reduced-price, or paid status to a slightly smaller 96.2% of students.
  • Roughly three quarters of certification and benefit issuance error resulted in a higher benefit level than was justified based on the data presented on household applications; about one quarter of LEA administrative error resulted in a lower benefit level than justified.
  • Certification and benefit issuance error increased slightly from SY 2011-2012 to SY 2012-2013, but the changes were not statistically significant.
  • Over the nine years of this report series, certification error has ranged between 2.0 and 3.9%; benefit issuance error has ranged between 3.0 and 4.6%.
Page updated: September 14, 2023