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Saint Augustine’s students, parents frustrated over school’s financial issues

Parents of students at Saint Augustine’s University want answers from the university after they claimed their children have not received their financial aid refunds.

The claims come as the university fights to keep its accreditation because of financial troubles.

In December, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges voted to remove Saint Augustine’s accreditation. The group found the university failed to comply with several standards, including financial responsibility.

The school says it plans to appeal at the accreditation denial.

One parent said her daughter, a senior at St. Augustine’s, is still awaiting financial aid from the fall 2023 semester.

“No one’s taking accountability for what’s going on,” the mother, who wanted to remain anonymous, said.

She said her daughter and others dependent on financial aid for educational and living expenses are in flux.

“Please do right by these students. That is all we are asking,” she said.

Another parent, whose son is a sophomore, called the situation a “sad state of affairs.”

WRAL News previously highlighted other financial concerns.

On Tuesday, WRAL News learned teachers at the university had delayed paychecks in three of the last four months.

Saint Augustine’s University provided the following statement to WRAL News:

“I write to ensure our community and supporters that Saint Augustine’s University classes are proceeding as scheduled, per our academic calendar and university catalog.

The academic policies and guidelines outlined in our Academic Policies Handbook are the foundation of our commitment to delivering our students a comprehensive and uninterrupted educational experience. These policies dictate the duration and schedule of classes, and we remain steadfast in upholding them with the utmost diligence and integrity.

I encourage all students to continue actively engaging in their studies, participate in class discussions, and make the most of the diverse educational opportunities available. Our commitment to academic excellence remains unwavering, and we look forward to your continued diligence and dedication to your educational pursuits.

I also extend my deepest gratitude to our faculty, staff, supporters, stakeholders, and the broader community for your unwavering support of Saint Augustine’s University. Your dedication to our institution is deeply appreciated, and we remain resolute in our mission to provide a transformative educational experience for our students.

In conclusion, let it be clear that classes at Saint Augustine’s University are proceeding as scheduled, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to academic rigor and excellence. Together, let us continue to uphold the values and traditions of our esteemed institution, and I am confident that we will emerge more robust and united as a university community.”

A candlelight vigil will take place at the on-campus chapel at 5 p.m. on Feb. 18.

According to a post on Instagram, the vigil is “an effort to show physical and spiritual support to those affected by the concerns of the university’s status.

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