Community pitches in for Darton students surprised by debt - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Community pitches in for Darton students surprised by debt

Students at Darton who were surprised by unexpected debt are getting some help from the community. (Source: WALB) Students at Darton who were surprised by unexpected debt are getting some help from the community. (Source: WALB)
Students said they got a letter emailed to them three weeks before graduation. (Source: WALB) Students said they got a letter emailed to them three weeks before graduation. (Source: WALB)
There is now a GoFundMe page set up to help all of the nursing students who are facing those debts. (Source: WALB) There is now a GoFundMe page set up to help all of the nursing students who are facing those debts. (Source: WALB)
504 students are supposed to graduate next Friday and 119 of them found out they have balances. (Source: WALB) 504 students are supposed to graduate next Friday and 119 of them found out they have balances. (Source: WALB)
Amanda Zvikas (Source: WALB) Amanda Zvikas (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Nursing students at Darton State College are still frustrated after getting a notification three weeks ago that they had to pay back loans they didn't know they had. 

Three students that WALB spoke with said that they got a letter emailed to them exactly three weeks before their December 9th graduation ceremony.

MORE: Darton Financial Aid error sparks anxiety for graduating students

After the story aired last Wednesday, a woman, who would like to remain anonymous, called and said she wanted to help the students with their payments. 

There is now a GoFundMe page set up to help all of the nursing students who are facing those debts. 

The woman donated $1,000, but she hopes to contribute more. 

She said that she knows the students are struggling, and in the goodness of giving, she wants to help out. 

The students said they are grateful for the help. 

"It's something we didn't think was going to happen at all. We are in a small town, at a smaller school, but it was really incredible the people that have tried to pull together and say, 'Hey this isn't right, hey, you've worked really hard, let us give you a helping hand,'" explained Darton nursing student Amanda Zvikas.

For those who would like to help the nursing students, you can visit Darton's 2016 Nursing Students GoFundMe page.

WALB spoke with the communications director for the college on Wednesday.

504 students are supposed to graduate next Friday and 119 of them found out they have balances stretching from $700 to $1,7000. 

Officials at Darton said students were supposed to notify financial aid before the semester began to let them know they were on track to graduate in December. 

School officials said that when the federal loans are looked at, they are given out for the whole year unless the student told them they were only completing one semester. 

Students said they weren't aware they needed to do that.

To compromise, college officials said they are letting them walk at graduation and giving them until March 1st to pay their debt. But they can't push that date because it's federal money the students owe. 

In the letter they also said they will give students one copy of their transcript. 

Students told WALB that one copy isn't enough. 

Officials from Darton said that if students want more, they can contact the registrar with a written appeal asking for more than one transcript. 

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