JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- More than 1,000 students impacted, more than $4 million stake, and after months of leaving people who were promised Pell grants on the edge of their seats, FSCJ is taking ownership of its big mistake.
Instead of asking students to pay back those false Pell grants, the board voted to reach into its own pocket.
"We actually are retiring that student debt," said FSCJ interim president Willis Holcombe.
But where is a school so strapped for cash getting the money to pay off debt? Action News followed the money to find out. We learned it's coming from one of the school's need-based scholarship funds.
"It's an appropriate fund," said Holcombe. "It's not using taxpayer dollars, it's not using student tuition. Those are important things, but the most important thing is that it resolves the situation for the students."
But Action News has learned the move leaves FSCJ with $200,000 less to hand out to other students who could have used that scholarship money.
"The ones that are missing out that's not really fair to them," said FSCJ student, AJ Slate.
"Not good, it's already looking sour as it is," said FSCJ student Andrew Milonis.
But Holcombe assures me, with the economy on the rise, the school's foundation is projected to raise $1.5 million. Money he says can also be handed out as scholarships. He says the school is committed to doing right by the students.
"Understand that the college is really committed to their success and the action by the board proves it," said Holcombe.