Presidential Updates

For the past three years, the state of West Virginia has submitted its audit of federal dollars after the March 31 deadline. As a result, all two-year and four-year institutions of higher education in West Virginia have been notified by the US Department of Education that we will be reimbursed by the federal government for the federal aid funds we disburse rather than receiving them up front. Let me emphasize that this was NOT the fault of Bluefield State, any other public college or university, or the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. Thanks to swift action by the Chancellor’s Office, the Governor’s Office and the Department of Revenue, the state is working on a solution to ensure that federal student aid dollars will be disbursed as usual this Fall. Our students will receive their financial aid. West Virginia’s federal Congressional delegation also is working diligently on our behalf. The important point is that numerous state and federal officials, myself included, are addressing the situation with both short-term and long-term solutions to ensure that our students will receive their financial aid dollars. My official statement follows:

“This action by the US Department of Education affects not just Bluefield State but every public four-year and two-year institution in West Virginia. As Chancellor Paul Hill has emphasized to the Presidents, all of our state’s public higher education institutions met the March 31 deadline in advance, and the final higher education portion of the audit was clean. Unfortunately, our institutions are being penalized for something over which we had no control. I am very grateful to the Governor’s Office, the Department of Revenue, Chancellor Hill, Senator Manchin, Senator Capito, and Congressman Jenkins for their immediate response and strong commitment to finding both short- and long-term solutions to this situation. With their assistance, our students will receive their financial aid dollars next month just as expected.”