CSN president speaks on inaccurate financial aid payments
Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The College of Southern Nevada admits it messed up. That's why hundreds of its students who attended the last two school years didn't get the amount of federal financial assistance they were supposed to get.
Some students were underpaid, but most were overpaid.
"We're responsible," admitted Michael Richards, president of CSN. "This is a stumble for us."
Richards said human error is to blame for many of its students not getting the right amount of federal financial aid they were owed.
When asked whose fault this was, Richards said, "This isn't really a fault. It's a finding of human error that has occurred. By staff and students, lots of people."
But it's the students who ended up paying the price. Many had to pay out more than they should have because they didn't get all of the money they were supposed to get.
The college recently discovered the errors over the summer after the U.S. Department of Education requested a routine assessment of student award files.
The college said the processing errors were made during the previous school years, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. However, the students who were affected don't yet know who they are.
Terrance Pederson, a third semester student at CSN, is hoping he wasn't one of the students who was short-changed, "I would be devastated."
As of now, the college moved financial assistance out of the duties of student services and into the hands of the Finance and Administration Department. It is also working with a third party to go over all of the processing errors.
In addition, CSN's president is inviting national firms that specialize in financial assistance to provide advice to the college on how to reorganize its financial aid operations.
The school has not yet figured out how much it overpaid students and it would not give any kind of estimate to the media at this time. The president said the school will repay that money to the U.S. Department of Education and it will not be using state funds to do that.
He said any student who thinks they were affected by this, should sit tight for now and the school will be contacting students once the assessment is complete.