TSU Students Help Pay Tuition for Others - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

TSU Students Help Pay Tuition for Others

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State University helps dozens of student stay in school by paying the remaining balance of their tuition.

If there is one part of the college experience that has not changed over time, its the continuing rise in tuition costs.

The reality for twins Kanisha and Kyisha Davis from Chicago hit home when they were informed they would be purged from their classes at Tennessee State University.

"You're just like, 'Oh my, what am I going to do? I don't have, I already took out loans and you are worried about going home," said Kyisha.

Kanisha replied with, "It was actually scary because it feels like you are so far from home. You are like, what are you going to do now. If we were to get purged and have to leave at 4:30 and it's like, where would I go?"

This is reality for dozens of students on college campuses across the country.

After scholarships, financial aid or grants run out, the balance is left up to the student and their families, many times leaving student with the only option of returning home.

"It's definitely difficult, because it can be discouraging in a lot of ways," said TSU senior and Student Government Association president David Rawles, who knows this feeling all too well.

"Every semester I am always short a certain amount of money. I reach out to my alumni chapter, I reach out to SGA and I reach out to the bursar's office, reach out to everybody and submit scholarships."

Just one day before the purge was set to happen at TSU; Rawles discussed an idea with administrators like Dr. Jame'l Hodges and Vice President of Student Affairs, Dexter Samuels, to take an allotted amount of money from the SGA account and pay the balance for as many students possible facing the purge.

"So to expedite the process, we didn't have an application process; we just came up with stipulations. We wanted to say you must have a 2.75 GPA and a need that fit in our $10,000 range," said Rawles.

From this gesture, 30 students are able to stay in school with $7,800 from the SGA.

"One of the things we talk about is giving back," said Samuels. "One of the things they could have done is given it to themselves in terms of SGA members, but what they decided to do is give it to their fellow student. So, it really pleased me when I saw 30 students were going to benefit from these scholarships."

Lessons learned and lived by the school's motto.

"The serving aspect of, Think - Work - Serve to me, really embodies what TSU represents historically," said Rawles.

This isn't the first time a TSU student organization has given money to their fellow students. The National Pan-Hellenic Council gave $30,000 to students who did well academically last year.

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