The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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February 8, 2013

Some former MSU students plagued by financial aid delay

BECKLEY — Mountain State University may be gone in name, but some students’ financial aid at UC-Beckley has been affected by the dissolved school’s decision to appeal.

University of Charleston-Beckley’s regional president Dr. Jerry Forster said UC-Beckley students are seeing a delay in their financial aid distribution. He explained the school could not file financial aid documents for students in November or December while Mountain State University was still involved in an appeal to the Higher Learning Commission and its future was uncertain.

The final appeal decision to uphold the revocation of MSU’s accreditation was not announced by the Higher Learning Commission until just before Christmas.

This unavoidable delay in submitting paperwork means students are more than a month into school and just now receiving their funds; however, there are not expected to be future delays in financial aid distribution.

This isn’t anything new for some students who transferred from MSU to UC for the spring semester.

In December, The Register-Herald reported that Mountain State University was distributing financial aid monthly and was more than a month behind. At that time, Interim President Dr. Richard Sours said the financial aid money for November, about $2.5 million, was expected to be the final disbursement for the school when it could be paid out.

Michele Sarrett, who is fielding financial aid questions for the closed university, according to the MSU website, said the school had, “to the best of our knowledge,” distributed all financial aid awards for the fall semester by Dec. 31.

She explained that recently the university has been told three students did not get their full award for the fall.

“The university has corrected this error and additional distributions are in process for these students. Further, fewer than five students received aid disbursements after Jan 1, 2013, due to their having submitted late or incomplete applications,” she said.

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com

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