Funding still not in for ETBU scholarships - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Funding still not in for ETBU scholarships

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RUSK, TX (KLTV) -

The tuition deadline for East Texas Baptist university is in 3 days, and West Rusk students who are scheduled to attend the university for free are still waiting on scholarship money. Some prospective ETBU students are asking, 'what if the money doesn't come through?'

"Three or four weeks ago no one ever thought that was a possibility. Nobody thought it was going to take this length of time. But as far as I know , everything is going on as planned and as explained to us from the beginning. My information has been one source, and that's alumni Robert Jordan. He's the one that's been in contact with Nick Sturghill," says West Rusk ISD superintendent Tommy Alexander.

"If the scholarships for the students of West Rusk is not funded by August first they have the option to go through our financial aid office," says ETBU public relations director Mike Midkiff.  

Meaning the students will have to seek conventional aid. For some it's beyond their means.

"The 31st being the deadline. They're in the process of trying to meet that deadline," Alexander says.

"Each family is different, each family's need about finances is different," Midkiff says.   

In May, West Rusk alumni Robert Jordan announced that Houston benefactor 'Nicholas Sturghill' would fund scholarships for West Rusk students to go to ETBU.  Now rumors the money may not come at all.

"The information that came across last night and this morning, that's never been brought up , never been discussed. I can't respond to that until Nicholas gets back to town.

"If by chance that happens, we'll find a way to help the families, and find a way to reimburse them if the funding comes through after the deadline. We have no information that the deal will not happen," adds Alexander.  

The money centers around the man no one at either school has talked to. An Internet search shows 'Nicholas Sturghill' is an independent filmmaker in Houston.  According to Harris county courthouse records, in 2011 his production company was sued for breach of contract with a judgement of over 4-hundred thousand dollars. School officials say if the money doesn't come through, they'll find a way for the kids to get their shot at college.

"We'll give students some options of what they need to be thinking about if this funding is not there," Midkiff says.    

Officials at ETBU say no one at the university has personally spoken to Sturghill.

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