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Arkansas Baptist students examine their bills from the spring semester and demand explanations



Little Rock, Arkansas – Before this semester, numerous Arkansas Baptist College students were able to fulfill a dream that many people have: attending college debt-free.

They are now vocalizing their worries about issues they have noticed with their financial assistance.

“Having the same GPA from the beginning and them not only forcefully taking out a loan, but then on top of that, adding a balance [and] making me say that I owe. When they’re supposed to owe me in reality,” said Samiyah Brown.

Students Samiyah Brown, Joseph Price, and Shantia Branch were all taken aback this week when they discovered they owed money on their school accounts.

“Students are leaving because they owe $14,000 to $16,000 when they’re supposed to be here for free,” Brown explained.

They claimed that something changed during the break and that they are now searching for explanations, even though they believed their tuition was covered by grants and scholarships. Numerous students have signed a petition urging the school to take action, so they are not alone.

“This is a cry for help, this is a state of emergency for Arkansas Baptist College, and we need that type of help,” Price said.
Interim President of Arkansas Baptist College, Regina Favors explained how the money students are referring to was a part of COVID and federal funds but is no longer available.

“They won’t have that this year, because the cost of attendance has changed but the cost of attendance would be for pell, and loans. and with that it doesn’t cover the full tuition,” Favors described.

According to her, there are a few reasons why students who have an outstanding amount notice it: they already have money in their account, enrollment is declining and they require the money, and federal aid hasn’t started yet.

“Our donations are very small, when you really think about it, we don’t get major grants. We don’t get major scholarship funds to offset the students that we get, and unfortunately, they don’t have enough to cover the full cost of attendance,” Favors said.

She suggested that some students may not be receiving their full Pell Grant or financial aid, even without taking into account the census that was completed on January 29. This could affect when students register for the spring semester.

Students have asked for complete openness regarding the scholarships and financial aid that they are eligible for going ahead, as well as an itemized analysis of their tuition costs.

“It’s really just about funding and transparency about funding or where the money is going. All we’re asking for is a little transparency and hope on why this is going this way, and not going to miss certain things like that,” Price described.


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