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Paine College students protest financial aid problems, condition of dorms

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 2:19 PM
Last updated 3:01 PM
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About 30 Paine College students protested outside the school’s administration building Wednesday, asking officials to fix alleged financial and operational problems on campus.

Paine College students protest outside Haygood-Holsey Hall. This month, more than 50 financial aid checks bounced when students attempted to cash them, according to student Lindsey Scoggins, who organized the demonstration.  ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
Paine College students protest outside Haygood-Holsey Hall. This month, more than 50 financial aid checks bounced when students attempted to cash them, according to student Lindsey Scoggins, who organized the demonstration.

The protest, students said, was a last resort after several attempts to reach administrators in person and through letters went unanswered.

“Students feel like they’re oppressed and no one listens to their concerns,” said Lindsey Scoggins, a Paine history major who organized the demonstration. “Basically when we try to talk to them and ask questions, they give us the runaround.”

The administration has not responded to dormitories in need of repair and financial aid checks that have bounced or not been delivered, Scoggins said. This month, more than 50 financial aid checks bounced when students attempted to cash them, she said. More were never awarded the checks.

Students said dorms are filled with mold and leaks and cafeteria food is subpar. During the protest, in which some stated concerns about how their tuition is spent, students dressed in black and held signs asserting that grilled cheese does not count as dinner and that dorm conditions must change.

Brandon Brown, Paine’s vice president of institutional advancement, said there was “an error in the formatting of the checks” that caused students to not receive money but that the situation has been rectified.

“It was not financial, but an error with processing,” Brown said.

Scoggins, however, said many students have still not received financial aid for this semester.

On Feb. 6, Paine administrators fired three managers in the school’s business office. Former controller Kelly Kindell said he and the other employees were given no reason for their terminations.

Kindell said he believes students did not receive financial aid because there were no managers left to administer the money after the terminations.

“When Dr. Bradley fired us, all the knowledge went with us,” Kindell said. “There was nobody there to monitor the situation to know how the funds should be moved around.”

Kindell said the school receives funds from the U.S. Department of Education for Pell Grants and loans and the Georgia Department of Education for HOPE Scholarship money.

Once the funds are approved and sent to the business office, the school processes the money and puts it in proper accounts to send students their reimbursements.

“I think what happened in this case is since nobody knows how to do that, it got messed up that way,” Kindell said.

Students said they hope the administration addresses their concerns now that they have spoken out. Several students said they would not speak on the record to a reporter for fear of retaliation from administrators.

“People are scared to protest because they feel they’ll get kicked out,” Scoggins said. “People have been kicked out for protesting in the past.”

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rmwardsr
525
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rmwardsr 03/21/12 - 03:13 pm
0
0
“I think what happened in

“I think what happened in this case is since nobody knows how to do that, it got messed up that way"... Sounds like a bunch of B.S. to me, becuase once these financial aid lians go into repayment mode, Sallie Mae, the federal government agency that loans the money:
1. Does not listen.
2. Does not care about you financial hardships.
3. Will ruin your credit rating, and since student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, there is no relief.
4. Will follow you to the grave if you still owe money on your student loans to make sure that you are not buried with anything of value that they might be able to repossess.
This is all true, I know because I have experienced it.

scottyraysha12
0
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scottyraysha12 03/21/12 - 03:50 pm
0
0
what a shame for these

what a shame for these students to be treated this way.

Bizkit
32894
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Bizkit 03/21/12 - 04:00 pm
2
0
The tip of the iceberg of the

The tip of the iceberg of the culture of corruption at Paine College. This isn't the first time they've passed bad checks-they are known for it. What is a shame is the students are likely dependent on this income-a black on black crime. If a white administration had done the same to 50 black students people would be crying discrimination and racism.

Sweet son
10729
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Sweet son 03/21/12 - 04:58 pm
0
0
Paine's board needs to try to

Paine's board needs to try to get Dr. Julius Scott back one more time to see if he can clean that mess up once again. How many times has he been called in to save that institution? Don't know but he is the smartest one the college has ever had!!!!!

double_standard
166
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double_standard 03/21/12 - 06:06 pm
0
1
A black on black crime

A black on black crime seriously? Paine has had money issues before with a very notable finance director.

SON of Scoob
434
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SON of Scoob 03/21/12 - 07:14 pm
1
2
So what is new in the world

So what is new in the world of our entitlement society. To protest when the give aways stop is a great example of just one of the problems in this country.

showboat
346
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showboat 03/21/12 - 08:11 pm
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0
WELL MY POST GOT DELETED.lol
Unpublished

WELL MY POST GOT DELETED.lol

paineisapain
0
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paineisapain 03/21/12 - 10:23 pm
1
0
Maybe you've never been in

Maybe you've never been in the situation where you needed assistance to pay for your college tuition and maybe everything you have was given to you on a silver platter. How can you possibly say that this is a "give away" situation? Those students work hard to receive and keep the financial contributions they need for their education. They are entitled to every penny that they have coming to them. It is a shame that they have to hold a protest just to have their voices heard. Maybe now the corruptness going on behind the scenes will come to an end. I pray that the students see better days, but that will not happen until some serious changes are made from within starting with the President of the college and the Vice President of Institutional Advancement!!!

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 03/22/12 - 06:21 am
0
1
paineisapain, I agree with

paineisapain, I agree with you that it is very difficult for college students today and most students need some kind of financial assistance be it from their parents or government. Most work hard to keep up their educations but where we differ is "They are entitled". No one is entitled to every penny! It is a REWARD/GIFT given to the student by the state paid for by taxpayers. It is NOT an entitlement, it is not owed to the students.

SON of Scoob
434
Points
SON of Scoob 03/22/12 - 07:08 am
2
1
paineispain, my case is made

paineispain, my case is made from your quote:

They are entitled to every penny that they have coming to them.

they may qualify for assistance but they are not entitled to anything.

btw: did you notice the protest looks more like a fashion show -

scgator
1042
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scgator 03/22/12 - 07:27 am
3
0
So what is new in the world

So what is new in the world of our entitlement society. To protest when the give aways stop is a great example of just one of the problems in this country.
YOU ARE WAAAAY OFF BASE; this is not about "gimmees and entitlement"; it is about mismanagement of a process that is causing hardship for those at the bottom of the ladder. And the ONLY recourse those at the bottom of the ladder have is to make noise. NO, I am not a young black liberal; I am a 61 year old retired white guy who applauds the courage and efforts of these students. Just because someone makes noise, does not make them the problem or irresponsible.

Dudeness
1544
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Dudeness 03/22/12 - 09:13 am
0
0
Why not transfer to another

Why not transfer to another school if they feel as though they have been treated poorly for so long?

deadline
0
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deadline 03/22/12 - 09:19 am
1
0
At some colleges, when you

At some colleges, when you take out federal loans (financial aid), yes LOANS with an INTEREST rate (currently at 8.5% by the way), not an entitlement as you say, the check has to be distributed by the college after tuition and fees have been applied.

Some of you didn't read the article!
"Kindell said the school receives funds from the U.S. Department of Education for Pell Grants and LOANS and the Georgia Department of Education for HOPE Scholarship money.

Once the funds are approved and sent to the business office, the school processes the money and puts it in proper accounts to send students their reimbursements."

kiwiinamerica
950
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kiwiinamerica 03/22/12 - 09:33 am
0
0
THIS is your lead story for
Unpublished

THIS is your lead story for the day, AC, NOT the piece about the jackass who wants to marry the Bachelorette!

ImPOed
18
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ImPOed 03/22/12 - 09:33 am
0
0
SonofScoob! This is not

SonofScoob! This is not about entitlements at all. Its the very same system that Augusta State uses with the exception that Paine is NOT a state supported Institution. Paine is a Church supported University. So don't point your finger at these individuals that you truly know nothing about. It's not their fault if the institution failed to dispurse their funds ontime. Students use these funds to pay their rent that they would otherwise lose if they stayed in those rundown dorms. At one time I thought those dorms were part of a project and that was really unfair because I've never been in them. Back in the early 70's I attended an College run by the same church and the institution closed because money was swindled or embezzeled from the institution. But we really don't know what the true problem is here. There should be an investigation by their board of regents.

paineisapain
0
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paineisapain 03/22/12 - 09:37 am
0
0
Yes this is a financial aid

Yes this is a financial aid issue, but financial aid does not only come from the Pell Grant or Hope Grant, some comes from the institution also. With those that are institutional, there are some with certain criteria that you must either maintain a GPA, take a certain number of classes per semester, etc. in order to keep them. If these students have worked hard to maintain their GPA and met the other criteria of the scholarships, they do deserve to get what is promised to them not partial amounts. When you register for classes you sign a charge sheet with everything broken down and allotted for the semester and it includes dollars and cents. That is what i mean when I say that they are entitled to everything they have coming to them. Maybe the use of the word "entitled" was the wrong choice, but the students definitely deserve what they were protesting about. Some of the students were said to be protesting because their checks bounced, but it was also said that there were some protesting because they have yet to receive their financial aid for the semester. It is the end of March and school will be over around the second week of May, so what happens to those graduating this May but will be denied because money has not been applied to their account? What happens to the students who are unable to register for classes next fall because their money has not been applied to their account? It's just a terrible situation, and I too applaud those students for their efforts.

wondersnevercease
9218
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wondersnevercease 03/22/12 - 10:24 am
1
0
This does not pass the smell
Unpublished

This does not pass the smell test...somebody is doing some creative book keeping...............

iLove
626
Points
iLove 03/22/12 - 10:28 am
0
1
@Son of Scoob - anything
Unpublished

@Son of Scoob - anything else?

Stixx13
0
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Stixx13 03/22/12 - 11:16 am
0
0
I am a current student at

I am a current student at Paine College. I am of a junior status. I am so glad the students of the school decided to protest against the Finanical Aid issue. School started back Jan.9th and our monies were posted onto our accounts. In our school manual it states that within 14 to 15 school business days that the students who have owed monies on their account will recieve them. Feb 10th was when the students were promised their monies. 27 students were given their monies, 27! We have over 27th students enrolled in the institution. Myself and other students accounts were cleared to recieve our funds on the 8th of Feb. Monies were to be given to us on the 10th. We were told this by adminstration. When we get to the business office, they tell us that we would have to have an "email" in order to recieve our check...If our monies are cleared why can't we have our refund? We spoke to the President's wife who was VERY rude. She told us that financial aid had to be pressed again and if we had special circumstances that we would recieve our money on the 21st of Feb....Half of the students recieved their money on the 21st again. I wanted to know what was going on, I emailed all of the administrators in charge of this, and I recieved NO reply. I then went to the business office and was told that my check was in the hands of a 'refund panel' they wouldn't tell us who was on the refund panel. I finally got the email to recieve my funds almost a month later on the 6th of March. I only got half of my money. I don't understand this issue. If you're a good student and you go to class as you should and your grades are up to par, why shouldn't you be given your money when it is due? I qualified for a book voucher...Did I get that!? NO!!! Paine College is VERY misconstrued and they don't know how to handle business very well. But if a student speaks out against them we're in the wrong and we get removed from the school....It is a very sad case.

iLove
626
Points
iLove 03/22/12 - 01:24 pm
0
0
HBCUs are GREAT institutions.
Unpublished

HBCUs are GREAT institutions. . . .it's the people who run the school(public and private)that suck......all of the monies away.

Bizkit
32894
Points
Bizkit 03/22/12 - 05:14 pm
0
0
Well Paine students you can

Well Paine students you can fight back. If conditions are poor-mold, lead paint, asbestos, no heat or air, then you can call the Inspector General of OSHA and report the institution. You are protected by whistle blower laws from any retaliations. If fire hazards report to fire marshall. Fight back legally. How many lawsuits are still pending-I remember at least 3-4 in the paper. Seems a culture of corruption with the present administration. It is a private school but it gets federal money so you also have leverage there.

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