Officials: International student with bursar bill was still able to enroll at OU

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NORMAN, Okla. – A student who could have been deported if they couldn’t come up with money to pay their bursar account will be able to stay at the University of Oklahoma.

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.

Earlier this month, it was learned that hundreds of students at OU still had unpaid balances on their bursar accounts. Of the 454 students with unpaid balances, 12 of those were international students.

One student who spoke with the OU Daily said 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.

School officials say international students are not eligible for federal financial aid, and it is extremely difficult for them to secure loans.

On Monday, university leaders gave an update on the situation:

“Each month, students with unpaid balances are notified that their unpaid balances will jeopardize their ability to enroll the next semester. As of Thursday, Feb. 7th, 454 of the 28,500 enrolled students at OU had unpaid balances and had holds on their accounts. Of these, 12 were international students.

Of the 12 international students, only one student indicated an interest in enrolling for Spring 2019 and faced a challenge in paying the balance on the account. The remainder of the international students were either able to enroll, no longer in contact with the university, had academic probation holds, or filed for graduation.

On Friday, Feb. 8th, the one international student with an unpaid balance produced a commitment of resources and was enrolled at the University of Oklahoma for spring 2019. International students often can have added challenges seeking private funding for tuition and fees and are ineligible for federal financial aid. The university recognizes this and staff works closely with students to attain their educational goals, and provide guidance for steps to look for necessary funding.”

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