Howard University students head back to class, with continued concerns

- As Howard University announces the launch of a new sexual assault prevention campaign on campus, returning students arrive back at the Hilltop with concerns, after financial issues plagued the university.

Howard University President Wayne Frederick at the event addressed the financial aid scandal from this past Spring semester, which impacted federal funding to the university.

“The issue with federal funding is that we will still get the same federal funding, we just have to go through a different process of payment.  So we'll end up getting the same payment over the course of the year but just that we have to submit more documentation and make sure our internal controls and those things are better,” says Frederick.

Employees were accused of misappropriating nearly $400,000. Six employees were fired.

President Frederick says top positions in the financial aid department have been filled and changes this semester will include ongoing training.

“Beginning last year when we first started our own internal investigation, we basically added new staff, we brought in consultants.  So we've gone from having a staff of 10 to a staff of 25, all very serious professionals.  We just named a new Financial Aid Director,” he tells Fox5’s Tisha Lewis.

The incident prompted student protests, a sit-in and calls for Frederick's resignation. 

Even so, one incoming freshman to new to the prestigious HBCU, says the student’s actions this past spring inspired her to attend the university.

“I kind of liked it.  I was very drawn to the fact that the students felt so strong about a topic or a problem that they were willing to go to the lengths to get it resolved and they weren't going to back down.  They weren't going to be like no, it's ok.  No, it wasn't ok and they knew that and I just feel like it's very important to be on a campus where my voice can be heard and I can be around students who want their voice to be heard as well,” she said.

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