Universities face student dropout issue
BATON ROUGE - Universities in Louisiana say they're taking steps to curb abuse by students who drop out of class right after receiving their financial aid.
Southern University officials said it was a major issue a couple of years ago, but after new policy changes students can't just walk away with a check.
"We have seen a tremendous decrease if not almost eliminated at the university," said Brandon Dumas, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment. "We have not awarded or disperse student refunds prior to that intensive verification period that begins after the 14th class day."
LSU officials said students who qualify receive a refund before the start of school. Because of that, the school has certain policies in place to keep dropout numbers low.
"About 20 to 25 students each term either fall or spring that we identify that did not attend class, and we do refund all of their federal financial aid," said Amy Marix, Associate Director of Financial aid and Scholarship. "We make sure that students that earn a F really earn a F, and didn't just run away with their financial aid funds."
School officials said it's an issue that can hurt universities down the line.
"When it does happen, there's an institutional responsibility to reimburse the federal government for funds that students have received," said Dumas.