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Clerical mistake shakes up college plans for this Randolph-Macon freshman

ASHLAND, Va. -- A freshman at Randolph-Macon College says she has to leave school because of a clerical mistake that was beyond her control.

Aieslynn Sellars says she worked hard in high school to earn scholarships to cover some of her tuition. She knew she’d have to get a loan to pay the rest.

Months ago, Sellars and her family asked Randolph Macon what her out of pocket expense would be. Once she got that total, she took out a private loan for that amount.

She said financial aid reps at the college later told her they discovered a calculation mistake.

Aieslynn Sellars

“They put all the scholarships into the computer and they put one of the $1,000 scholarships in twice. So, when that second $1,000 didn’t come in, that’s where I got charged. They said, ‘hey this scholarship didn’t come in. You owe us that money now,’” said Sellars.

One thousand dollars. When it comes to paying college tuition, it may not sound like much to some people. But for this Randolph-Macon freshman it was enough to shake up her college plans.

The 18-year-old, who is working three jobs to get through college, says she grew anxious that she wasn’t allowed to make payment arrangements and didn’t have an extra $1,000 to pay in such a short time.

“They pretty much told us. This is the amount you owe by January 16. If you don’t pay it, then you’re going to be disenrolled,” recalled Sellars.

Sellars says her family contacted the CBS 6 Problem Solvers, frustrated that her grandmother repeatedly called and wrote letters to the head of financial aid to no avail.

The freshman said she finished out the semester and signed all the paperwork saying she wouldn’t be coming back for another semester.

A Randolph-Macon spokesperson said they couldn’t discuss personal information about any student due to privacy laws but released this statement.

“We have worked closely with this student and our department head will reach out to her to help resolve this issue. We value each student and provide them with individual attention to help make a Randolph-Macon education affordable.”

Sellers says she is speaking out because she doesn’t want this to happen to any other student. She hopes her case will prompt Randolph-Macon to review their policies and make changes.

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