FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky State University announced that it will drop one quarter of its student enrollment after they say the students did not make required payments on their accounts.
The university set a September 2nd deadline for students to set up appropriate payment plans and/or apply for financial assistance. Those students who did not make payments to their tuition, board and fee accounts were dropped.
In statement sent to WKYT, the university says that some students have balances as high as $40,000, stretching from over two years.
"We face a nearly $7 million historic deficit, largely due to 645 students that have not paid KSU this fall," said interim President Raymond Burse. "This is terribly unfortunate, and we must take the necessary steps to protect KSU's financial stability."
Burse said university officials had tried to work with the students for months. KSU foundations paid balances for 111 students who owed less than $1,000 each and $65,000 worth of scholarships and book vouchers were awarded to 42 students.
"We have done everything we can to help students who need it the most," said Burse. "The last thing we want to ever do is remove a student from enrollment, but the university cannot endure the entire burden.
"I am dedicated to working hard to take KSU to the next level as an institution, but to do so everyone must do their part and be held accountable," said Burse.
Trebion Bembry is one of the students who will be dropped. She says she owes about $5,000.
"I'm in class worrying about tests and stuff like that and then I have to worry about whether or not I'll be in school by next week,"
Bembry says she's still expecting financial aid to come in to cover that amount. In the meantime, she says she'll try to continue life as normal.
"We're still just going to class, like, doing everyday things, waiting on our money to get into our account," Bembry said.
University officials say they've tried to work out payment plans with students who owe money.
"They tried to get me put out of school or whatever, but I went over to the academic building and spoke with who I needed to speak with and they assisted me with getting back in. There are people on campus that are here to help," Fabian Churchill said. He said the departure of so many students will have an impact far beyond campus.
"It's bigger than the school because you've got to think of the community as well. It'll hurt the community and the school. Those 650 or so students are bringing money to the city of Frankfort," he said.
The university is urging students who have questions regarding their accounts to contact the following offices:
(502) 597-5960 (Financial Aid)
(502) 597-6278 (Bursar)