Students of Mid-Continent University Worry They Won't Graduate

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GRAYSON COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) -- After a struggling university in western Kentucky announced it will be closing its doors next month, students are wondering what it means for them.

One Mid-Continent University student is just one class away from being able to graduate, but now he might not have the chance.

"We were that close to having that diploma in our hand -- we were that close. We had the date set. When we registered for the last set of classes, we ordered our caps and gowns. We were ready. It's all we've been talking about for the past month and a half, and then this happened," said AJ Hayes.

Hayes and his wife have been in the Advantage Program at the university in the last couple years and attend class at an off-campus location in Grayson County.

However, they found out this week the university will close by the end of June.

Officials announced Tuesday there's not enough money to run the school in Grave County.

"I had to write an essay on a short story from the Bible. I couldn't even get passed the first paragraph I was so disgusted, wondering is my instructor going to be in class? Is it even going to be worth me doing it? Do I even need to show up?"

Since then, faculty and staff have volunteered their time so seniors can graduate.

However, that doesn't help Hayes, who was counting on another semester to earn his last three credits.

"I know there's three people in this class that have three credits that we'd like to graduate, and that is it. It makes me wonder how many other students are in the same boat."

He was told he could possibly get credits for the class if he could pass a "challenge test" that includes material he's not been taught.

" We can look into an online class, which I'm really not interested in. We've been told we could try and transfer, but I don't think we could transfer for just that one elective class."

Today, students received an e-mail from the acting president, Tom Walden.

A portion of it said:

"We are developing a plan to provide you with available help after closing. We wish to assure you all of your academic records will be permanently secured by Mid-Continent University or another similar institution... We regret the effect this set of circumstances has had on your life and educational goals."

Walden says that plan will be announced within weeks.

WBKO called the university, but it was closed for Good Friday.

University officials did say the financial problems are the result of the U.S. Department of Education rejecting their financial aid paperwork.

Kentucky's attorney general, Jack Conway, created a hotline related to the closure that you can call at (502) 696-5485.

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