Numerous Howard University Employees Have Been Fired After Allegedly Keeping Financial Aid Money For Themselves

On Tuesday afternoon, an anonymous Medium blog post surfaced that claimed multiple Howard University employees had misappropriated nearly $1 million in financial aid funds. Howard University President Wayne Frederick later confirmed that six people were fired from the school after they had taken financial aid funds reserved for low-income students.

The now-deleted Medium post accused Frederick of knowing about the misappropriated funds since May of 2017. In his statement, Frederick said he knew about the misconduct before then — first learning of it in December 2016. This is when he supposedly hired an outside auditor to look into the funds.

"The investigation found that from 2007 to 2016, University grants were given to some University employees who also received tuition remission," Frederick said. "The audit revealed that the combination of University grants and tuition remission exceeded the total cost of attendance. As a result, some individuals received inappropriate refunds."

Frederick reported the auditor's findings to the Department of Education in July. He didn't confirm in his statement the amount of money that was misappropriated. 

Though Frederick did reveal that six University employees were fired as a result of the investigation, he didn't directly address one of the anonymous post's most damning allegations — Tyrone Hankerson Jr., a student employee at the financial aid office, supposedly received more than $400,000 in financial aid awards.

Hankerson said in a statement to ABC News that he "would never do anything to hurt an institution" that he loves.

"Please know that I have done nothing illegal or wrong," the statement read. "When the truth comes out, it will be confirmed that I followed all rules and protocol with the approval of the, then, financial aid officers in any grants, scholarships or awards given to me as a student who attended class all year round and traveled abroad." 

Many current and former Howard University students took to Twitter to express their anger over the situation.

Frederick's statement also included steps the University will be taken to ensure something like this doesn't happen again. Most of the reform efforts involve awards, scholarships and grants having to receive approval from offices outside of financial aid, such as the Budget Office or Controller's Office.

"While this has been a very difficult and disappointing situation, I know our campus community deserves better and I am committed to ensuring that each of our campus offices operate with integrity and are the best that higher education has to offer," Frederick said at the end of his statement.