Scholarship programs for low-income students at West Virginia University (WVU) and West Virginia State University (WVSU) have lost their federal funding. According to a release from Gov. Jim Justice (D-WV), the grants were denied because of minor clerical errors.
WVU's application for its McNair Scholars program was for $200,000, but the oversight on the application was $2. WVSU was looking for $500,000 for its Upward Bound program. The mistake on their application was $104, Both institutions said that the programs will have to be eliminated without the federal help. Gov. Justice spoke to U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 about the problem.
"Obviously, these programs at WVU and WVSU have been successful and productive for many tears and to see small mistakes on an application jeopardize these programs for our neediest students is disheartening," said Gov. Justice. "I urged Secretary DeVos to try and work this out and I am certain she understands what is at stake here for our West Virginia students."
The McNair Scholars program has been in existence for 18 years. Every year, it pairs 25 low-income and first generation college students with a professor in their field of study. The Upward Bound program at WVSU was established more than 50 years ago. It assists low-income students in secondary schools by allowing them to take classes to earn free college credits and establish a path to attend college after graduating from high school.
"We want to make sure we do everything possible to keep these programs up and running smoothly," Gov. Justice added. "They are far too important to be eliminated, especially due to a small, unintentional human error."