Cheyney University to Lay Down the Law on Late Tuition Payments

Historically black Cheyney University is one of 14 universities that make up the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. In 2008 the state of Pennsylvania took over direct control of the university’s finances when the school was operating at a significant operating deficit.

One of the main reasons for Cheyney’s financial woes is that it held $7 million in unpaid student bills. Part of the problem is that the school did not send out bills on time. Also, the school did not provide adequate support to help Cheyney students apply for federal financial aid. Now about $3.7 million in outstanding bills remain.

Cheyney president Michelle Howard-Vital has gone on record saying that the university will be a lot tougher this year. Students who do not pay their bills will not be permitted to take classes. Dr. Howard-Vital stated that students struggling to pay their bills can reach a payment plan with the university.

The board of trustees appointed a five-member panel to make recommendations on how the university can reduce its operating deficit. The panel’s chair will be H. Patrick Swygert, the former president of Howard University who presided over a highly successful $250 million fundraising drive at that institution.

Also appointed to the advisory panel are:

Shirley A.R. Lewis, former president of Paine College in Augusta, Georgia;
Michael L. Lomax, president of the United Negro College Fund;
Frank G. Pogue, former president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania; and
Leonard L. Haynes III, executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.