AR Dept. of Higher Ed to Help ABC


The State Department of Higher Education spent the day on Arkansas' most troubled college campus...trying to figure out how it can help.

KATV has been telling you about the problems faced by students and faculty at Arkansas Baptist College since those problems started back in August.

A lot of the unrest won't subside until federal dollars once again start flowing to the Little Rock campus.

But there are some things the Department of Higher Ed plans to do in the meantime.

A computer shutdown followed by a federal shutdown.

Arkansas Department of Higher Education Director Shane Broadway says Arkansas Baptist College has been hit by a perfect storm.

"I would say on a scale from one to ten how bad it was that it was a ten," says Broadway. "I think now, I would say, you're about a five. And closer to moving to one."

Arkansas Baptist College has found a way to keep faculty and staff paid despite the shortage of funding.

And the tuition, room and board of the students is also being covered for those who live on campus.

It's the living expense money that many students needs.

The State Department of Higher Education is going to try to speed the financial aid process up, recruit retired financial aid administrators to help, and handle media and student inquiries so that college officials can focus on a return to normalcy.

"They're a small college," says Broadway. "Not a lot of resources. They are heavily dependent on students who are on financial aid. They are trying to serve a need in reaching out and trying to get students in college who are normally not talked about to go to college. Or talked to to go to college. So they face a different set of challenges than most institutions we work with on a daily basis."

The goal is to get money in the hands of the students next week.

Broadway won't...and can't...guarantee that will happen. But that is the goal.

Air date: October 10th, 2013