STUDENTS JEOPARDIZED UNLESS AMERICAN SAMOA

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RELEASES FUNDS

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (June 30, 1998 - Samoa News)---About 80 of American Samoa’s most promising scholars are biting their nails, threatened with being kicked out of their mainland universities.

Their tuition payments for the next semester, which starts the first week of September, are past due and the American Samoa Development Bank isn’t making the payments even though the Bank agreed to do so when the students and their parents signed loan agreements.

According to informed sources, the $3,500 checks (one per student) are supposed to be released by the bank at the end of the month, which is today (June 30, 1998).

However, the money to cover the checks, approximately $300,000, has not yet been transferred from the government Treasury to the Development Bank.

"We’ve been bombarded with complaints from parents claiming that their students will be kicked out of school because they are relying on the loan disbursements to cover tuition," said a bank official. "The problem is with Treasury and not with the bank."

Repeated calls to ASG Treasurer Tifimalae Ale and DOE Director Dr. Laloulu Tagoilelagi were not returned.

In a recent interview, Scholarship Board Chairman Rev. Ned Ripley assured Samoa News that the students on the loan program, started by Governor Tauese Sunia last year, will continue to receive the loan funds without interruption.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to samoanews@samoatelco.com

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