ICYMI: $9.2 million in Scholarships Sat Unspent For Months While Students Fretted Their Future

For nearly five months Governor Roy Cooper’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs held $9.2 million in scholarship funds for children of wartime veterans hostage for likely in an effort to gain political advantage.

The DMVA has claimed for weeks that the delay in funding for the scholarships was because of the budget impasse. The $9.2 million in scholarship funds was recurring money, meaning no matter what happened with the budget, the Department could spend it. The money has been sitting in the Department’s account since July 1, 2019.

Last Week, WBTV in Charlotte highlighted the struggle of families impacted by the DMVA’s decision to sit on the money, despite having the authority to spend it.

“Mikayla Luke is a junior at East Carolina University, where she is a pre-med major with a minor in music. She’s in the honors program and is a campus tour guide.

“She went to ECU, in part, because her tuition would be covered by the DMVA scholarship she was awarded and the room and board allowance would help her pay bills and give her a chance to experience things — like a study abroad trip overseas this past summer — she wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise.

“The letter she got from ECU staff days before Thanksgiving was a shot.

“‘It was like my whole life was kind of thrown into the balance now,’ she said.

“At first, Mikayla said ECU told her a hold had been placed on her account, which would have prevented her from registering for classes the next day.

“She got that resolved and was able to register for classes on time. But now she’s trying to figure out how to pay back the nearly $1,400 ECU had already credited to her account.

“‘I have to think about rent, how am I going to pay that? Am I going to have to move my saving around for next semester?” Mikayla wondered in an interview with WBTV. ‘And it’s finals season! Today is the last day of classes. So it’s throwing on extra stress on top of everything else that’s going on right now.’”

Instead of playing the blame game, the DMVA needs to do what is right and give these students — some of them the children of men and women who have sacrificed their lives defending our country — their scholarship funds.

Read the full story here.

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