FSCJ president responds to repayment of millions

President Bioteau: Tuition will not be affected

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida State College at Jacksonville will pay the federal government $3.4 million after improperly awarding students millions in financial aid, according to the college's president.

"I believe that it's fair and will allow us to move forward," FSCJ President Cynthia Bioteau told Channel 4's Jennifer Waugh on The Morning Show Wednesday.

Bioteau said she did her own research and believes the college should pay back the U.S Department of Education.

"We made several misguided directions and decisions," Bioteau said. "I'd like to pay it and move on. The college has many, many important things to do for our community."

FSCJ recently repaid more than $4 million for improperly handing out federal loans and Pell Grants to students who didn't qualify. But while investigating those issues, more surfaced.

Bioteau said the school will need to eliminate some positions and outsource some work in the financial aid department. But she said those eliminations will only affect behind-the-scenes financial aid processes, not students' interactions with the financial aid department. Bioteau also said tuition would be unaffected.

"I have committed to our students that they will not be penalized either through the payback that the college must make or for going forward," Bioteau said. "Tuition must remain low at FSCJ. We are an access point for so many people in our community and tuition is a huge obstacle."

The college has 45 days to formally respond to the Department of Education. There are no plans to appeal at this time.