Howard Univ. President responds to financial aid scandal

WASHINGTON, DC -- Howard University students said they are disappointed but not entirely surprised after Howard University President, Wayne Fredrick issued a statement explaining that an outside audit of Howard’s Financial Aid Office uncovered that nearly a decade's worth of university issued financial aid had been misappropriated by staff from 2007 to 2016.
The investigation revealed that some employees were given University grants on top of  tuition remission which equaled more than the cost of attendance, resulting in fraudulent refunds.

“Obviously, it’s very disappointing. There’s people who need aid, I need aid, you know what I’m saying? There’s people who could be taking advantage of these resources if they were being allocated effectively, who may or may not be able to continue their education here or elsewhere because of the mishandling.”, said HU Junior, Zaire Johnson.

Frederick’s statement comes in response to an anonymous post on Medium by a student whistleblower alleging that Howard employees stole nearly a million dollars in financial aid funding.

The post, which has since been removed, refers to refund checks that were issued nearing $100,000, which is more than double the limit which students are allowed to receive, according to the post.
The post also names Financial Aid Associate Director Brian Johnson as receiving nearly $200,000 in aid and Student Financial Aid Employee Tyrone Hankerson, who allegedly received nearly $430,000 in aid and scholarships over the course of four years.
In his statement, Frederick acknowledges that he was made aware of the findings in May of 2017 and fired six employees for "gross misconduct and neglect of duties" after an investigation into employee actions was conducted in September 2017.

The accusations have set off a frenzy of reactions on social media.
While some students are calling for more transparency, others are simply saying, “Do better.”

“Howard needs to make sure they’re telling their students what’s going on before it happens and making sure that we’re all in the loop.”, said HU Sophmore, Tanner Frye.

Ihmani Johnson is a Senior at Howard who said, “HBCUs as a whole have had some issues. I just feel like hiring better administration would be, like, a good start to getting everything together.”

President Frederick said in his statement that while this is a difficult and disappointing situation, he is committed to making sure campus offices are run with integrity.

In a statement tweeted out by Tyrone Hankerson’s attorney, James L. Walker Jr., Hankerson says that he would never do anything to hurt an institution that he loves so much or the students that attend Howard University.
He is also asking for people to reserve judgement until all the facts are out.

Find the President's statement here.