Scholarship recipients feel required fees should be absorbed by university

Juana Blackwell, Staff Reporter/Writer

Alabama State University presidential, academic excellence and academic incentive scholarship recipients are growing frustrated with the university for not absorbing the cost for the athletic and health insurance fees.

Scholarship recipients claim that they have to pay out of pocket for the new athletic fee that began in spring 2020 and the “no longer optional” health insurance fees.

Director of Admissions and Recruitment Freddie Williams Jr. said that the athletic fee and health insurance fees are not covered under any of the scholarships.

Williams said that the scholarships “include the general university fee” but not the two new fees. He explained that the university has a scholarship budget and those fees were not a part of it.

However, the scholarship acceptance letter students receive states, “this scholarship pays full tuition, required university fees, and textbooks …” leaving students under the impression that they will not be responsible for paying any money out-of-pocket.

Presidential scholarship recipient Vanella Tadjuidje, a sophomore biology pre-health major, chose ASU because of the scholarship she was offered.  She believes scholarship students should not have to pay fees.  She was under the impression that her scholarship would cover all of the costs associated with the university.

  “…why am I expected to pay those required fees? It makes no sense,” she said.

D’Angelia Holmes, a junior biology pre-health major, was offered the Presidential Scholarship, which means that all of her expenses are covered. According to the university’s website, the Presidential Scholar’s room, board, tuition, required fees, and books are all paid for by the university. 

When asked if scholarship students should have to pay out of pocket, she responded no.

Sophomore dance major Carrie Mason, another presidential scholar, feels that students should have to pay for health insurance.

  “… $40 is a good price for health insurance as a student. Health insurance in the real world is much more than $40…” Mason feels that the athletic fee should not be a charge for scholarship students.

Shuntavious Miles, a junior biology pre-health major, is an academic excellence scholarship recipient who is from Montgomery, Alabama. He chose the university because “it just felt like home,” and being offered the scholarship was a “no-brainer” decision for him to make. Miles shares that his scholarship covers most of his expenses, and the rest of his balance is cleared through his pell grant. He believes that scholarship students should not have to pay out of pocket.

“…It’s not right,” Miles said. “If you have students coming here saying that they’re on the presidential scholarship or they’re on an academic excellence [scholarship] and those scholarships say all fees included and covered. Then all fees should be included and covered. And as we see that on our HornetsWeb [the] athletic fee and health insurance fee, so that’s a fee, and it should be covered rather than us paying out of our pockets.”