NORMAN, Okla. – University officials say they are working to come up with a solution for students who may be deported if they can’t come up with the money to pay their bursar bills.
According to the OU Daily, 18 international students at the University of Oklahoma may face the possibility of deportation if they don’t pay off their bursar debts by Friday.
Last October, the university informed 6,000 students that they could not enroll until they paid off their balance with the bursar’s office. At this point, thousands of those accounts have been paid.
However, the newspaper says there are still about 454 students with enrollment holds, and 18 of those are international students.
One student who spoke with the newspaper says she has to come up with $20,000 or she will lose her visa status. In turn, that could cause her to lose the ability to work or be a student in the United States.
“We’re just asking for some time and … at least have consideration of the cases,” the student said. “If this was happening to me a year ago … I would totally understand that. But I’m only three classes short from graduating … It feels like they only want their money, and we’re gonna give them the money, but just we’re asking for a little bit of time.”
School officials say international students are not eligible for federal financial aid, and it is extremely difficult for them to secure loans.
Officials told News 4 that only 12 students are affected by the situation, and they are currently working out an agreement to make sure that students’ visas aren’t in jeopardy. At this point, university leaders there is only one student who is experiencing challenges with their account.