Another Atlanta University Center HBCU finds itself in the news over financial woes. According to an analysis report released by the U.S. News & World Report, Clark Atlanta University ranks as one of the worst colleges where students graduate with the most debt.
As a graduate of CAU 10 years ago, the finding is disturbing yet not surprising. This summer all of our interns attended the University and several had financial aid shortfalls leaving their families no choice but to take out additional private loans.
The study showed that 94 percent of students borrow money to attend the HBCU, and the average debt of a 2011 CAU graduate is more than $47k . The report calculated the average debt of graduating students, the percent of students who borrowed and their U.S. News National Universities rank.
Our intern Brianna, who is a current student at CAU, weighed in on the recent article published by Grio.com by saying, “I don’t feel like the administrators in the financial aid department at CAU are as helpful as they could be. As if the stress of financial aid isn’t enough, many of us have to face attitudes from administrators and even being turned away from the scholarship office after being told that students will not be seen today although the administrator is clearly in the office.”
Brianna adds that CAU received $1million dollars from Chick-Fil-A to be distributed as schoarship monies, but doesn’t know where that money is. “Over 2,000 students are qualified for work study but were only 100 jobs available, leaving those of us who are qualified to have to find work off campus. Many of us know about the money that CAU received from Chick-fil-A, but we are not sure how or when the school will disperse these funds.”
CAU’s ranking could be a direct reflection of their enrollment process. Not many students come in as Freshman on a full academic scholarship at CAU, unlike the majority of the schools athletes who enter with full or partial scholarships. In fact, most students who enter the instituion are on academic probation for the first semester, which could begin to shed light on this very issue.
Photo Credit: Chanda M. Scott