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Student almost lost her tuition assistance after her mother died

Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 6:16 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - After the first nurse in West Virginia died of coronavirus just weeks ago, her daughter had faced more shocking news. Haley Parker told 5 news that due to her mother’s death, she was alerted that she no longer qualifies for the WVU Medicine Dependent Tuition Assistance Program.

However, after 5 News contacted WVU Medicine, the situation for Haley changed.

Haley said on Friday afternoon she was told that officials sent her the wrong letter and that they are working for her to keep her tuition assistance.

This is what Haley was sent Friday morning:

The program is meant to support employees and their dependent children with college funding, but now that her mother is no longer an employee, she faced losing eligibility.

For the fall semester, the WVU Medicine program provided Haley with just over $3,000. That’s close to 90 percent of her semester tuition.

Haley said her only other scholarship was a WVU merit scholarship of $750, which is why she says this assistance plays a huge role in her education.

“When I was a senior in high school I had planned my undergrad around this tuition assistance,” Haley said before being notified of the changes.

Originally, Haley said she didn’t understand why she wouldn’t be eligible anymore when the circumstance of her mother isn’t in anyone’s control. Now, she hopes this plays out as a lesson for future students that may be in her situation.

“There’s a possibility that this may happen again, and I think they should create a supplemental scholarship for people in case this happens,” she said.

Based off of what officials told her, Haley said she will be receiving a new letter sometime next week, allowing her to keep her tuition assistance.

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