Atlanta

Students say Morehouse gave them thousands in scholarships, then asked for money back

Some Morehouse students said they got thousands of dollars in scholarship money, but now the college is asking for the money back.

Now, the students say they don’t know if they can go back to class after holiday break because their accounts have a negative balance.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes talked to several students about the issue, which is only affecting students who live off-campus. A new policy says that any scholarship Morehouse gives has to be spent on campus. Off-campus students said they were blindsided when they were given scholarships that were taken away a year later.

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Fernandes talked to Ayden Clark Veal, a sophomore at the college who wants to study medicine. Veal has always gotten good grades, so when he got a nearly $12,000 scholarship from Morehouse, he felt great because that’s about half of his total expenses for the year.

About a week after he got the money, Morehouse took it back, bringing his account into the negative.

“Clearly, there’s been a change and students were not made aware about it,” Veal said.

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Veal thinks everything changed when the financial aid staff was totally replaced. Veal said he also had to get an off-campus apartment this year because Morehouse didn’t have enough housing for him and many other students.

Fernandes obtained a statement from the college, saying:

“External scholarship funds can be used for off-campus living expenses, while funds provided directly by Morehouse are used to address living and learning expenses on campus.”

Veal’s mother, Cameo Clark, has been trying to help her son and several other students who are now desperately trying to come up with thousands of dollars so they can continue their education.

“There was something misleading in the marketing,” Clark said. “I’ve never heard of a scholarship that has to be paid back.”

Many students said they want the policy changed, but at the very least, they want staff to be clear so that students aren’t caught off-guard.

“I don’t think they got up and came to work with an intention to screw over off-campus students,” Clark said. “But at a point where the students are begging you in your office, ‘Hey I can’t pay my rent,’ You know, what does it take to get you to pay attention and say, ‘Hey we need to look at this?’”

The students in financial trouble have now set up a GoFundMe to help.

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