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Foundation Promises $10,000 Scholarships But Does Not Deliver

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DURHAM — Dozens of college students across the country, including several in the Triangle, are getting an unwanted business lesson. A foundation that promised them each a $10,000 scholarship says it does not have the money.

It costs more than $92,000 to attendDuke Universityfor 4 years. When a company not affiliated with the school offered $10,000 a year scholarships, students pounced on the offer.

Now, halfway through their freshman year, the money is not there. The students are angry and in debt.

Getting accepted to a prestigious school like Duke is a student's dream. Getting a $10,000 a year scholarship makes that dream attainable.

"I really want to stay at Duke, I love it here," said student Cassy Marshall.

But for Marshall, the dream has been crushed by a company which did not deliver on the scholarship money.

"I was confused and hurt. They kept telling us all along, 'don't worry about it, you'll have the money, the money will come through, you'll have your scholarship.' Then all of a sudden, they just did not," said Marshall.

Marshall is one of three students at Duke and one of 51 across the country who learned through a letter that AdamsVision did not have the money it promised.

"To encourage students to make commitments like this and then pull the financial rug out from under them is outrageous," said Jim Belvin,Duke's financial aiddirector.

Belvin talked to the Texas-based company. He says they offered no real reason for backing out.

"One needs to be a little bit careful. Be sure you understand the nature of the organization. What is their commitment to the student? What commitments do they expect from the student?" said Belvin.

"Make sure you have a backup plan if something were to fall through," said Marshall.

Marshall says there were some red flags, like disorganization on the part of the company, which can tip students that something may be wrong.

Duke's financial aid office has promised to work with these students to get more financial aid so they can stay in school.

The school is still encouraging students to seek outside scholarships, just to investigate them first. The company, AdamsVision, has not returned WRAL's calls.