Insult and Injury

Christian College Expels Lesbian Student And Then Bills Her For Tuition

Grace University doesn’t believe in forgiving or forgetting. The Christian college expelled Danielle Powell last year after she came out as gay. Now the university refuses to transfer Powell’s credits to another college unless she pays $6,300, the tuition for the semester the school suspended her  before it finally expelled her.

Yes, that’s right. Grace wants Powell to pay for barring her from classes before throwing her out for good. In a nice touch, the bill is higher than it would have been because the school revoked Powell’s academic scholarship.

Grace’s policy is that “any student involved in sexually immoral behavior, including premarital sex, adultery, and homosexual acts, is at minimum placed on University probation and may be subject to a Judiciary Hearing.” Powell was ratted out by a spiritual advisor and brought before the hearing, where she was suspended. The school offered a program that included counseling and regular church attendance, which Powell chose to undertake for fear of jeopardizing her three-and-a-half years of college credit. Nonetheless, the university decided not to readmit her.

Powell subsequently learned that Grace would only transfer her credits if she paid $6,300 it claims the school is owed. The school claims it has to return federal funds if a student withdraws during the course of a semester.

Powell has begun a petition to get Grace to forgive her debt. But there’s already a happy ending to the story. Powell proposed to her girlfriend Michelle Rogers at a Macklemore and Ryan Lewis concert, captured on video. The couple have since married.

Photo credit: The Daily Dot

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #daniellepowell #education #graceuniversity stories and more


  • Spike

    She went to a christian college, accepted a scholarship, knew the policy as far as Grace’s policy as far as it reflected the schools definition of ‘sexual immorality’, and broke it. This matter is nothing more then a contract dispute. She broke the contract and the school is holding her accountable. Figures it would be a lesbian.

  • Caleb in SC

    Sue their sorry asses. Teach them a lesson that will only come if they have to stroke HER a check. Unfortunately for her, I am sensing that most accredited universities will not accept the vast majority of her credits anyway because those private “Christian” colleges usually are accredited from some BS organization that exists solely to accredit Christian colleges.

  • JoEl

    I agree with Spike on this one. She knew the rules she knew what she was getting into when she excepted to go to this Christian College. I personally feel that she is trying to get others to feel she should not have to pay when she knows she should. She is trying to make this into another gay issue that everyone should rally around her and support her issues of not having to pay. Well, I’m not going to rally behind her because she knew the rules and she knew what would happen if she got caught. So now she should have to pay and leave the whole gay rights thing to those issues that are worthy of attention.

  • Caleb in SC

    @Spike: @JoEl: I understand your opinions, but doesn’t holding her transcripts hostage until she pays for a full tuition seem rather punitive? I could maybe understand a pro-rated tuition, but the full amount is adding insult to injury.

  • Spike

    @Caleb in SC: When you break a contract, you open yourself up to punitive damages, so yes, it is meant to punitive. And if in fact the scholarship was Federally funded, then the school does have to refund the Govt. I agree with JoEl on this one, she and Queerty are turning this into a gay rights issue and it has nothing to do with gay rights. Oh, and colleges hold transcripts hostage all the time when it comes to financial disputes. It is a standard practice.

  • hyhybt

    @Spike: You’re right in a sense, but only the smaller one. That they have the legal right to do what they did does not make it any less despicable; that she knew, or should have known, better than to go there in the first place does not make this NOT a matter of anti-gay discrimination, nor does it make it a REASONABLE course of action on the school’s part.

  • erics

    @JoEl: How is getting suspended for being gay not a gay issue? Who cares if it was “in the contract,” its horrible and wrong, and the poor girl probably only realized she was gay part way through college. It says she was ratted out by a “spiritual advisor,” so she probably came out to herself, didn’t know what to do, and tried talking to this advisor, who then threw her under the bus.

  • Merv

    Christians hate gay people. Is she just getting this news? Unbelievable.

  • hyhybt

    @Merv: Some Christians do, yes. Other Christians don’t hate, yet still believe even being gay to be sinful. Other Christians don’t hate, see being gay as neutral but not to be acted on. Some don’t hate, and see gay relationships as acceptable as something along the lines of adapting to a disability. Some (and this group *is* growing) see what sex your partner is as not being a moral issue at all, same as good as opposite.

    Those who see treating gay people as less as immoral exist in all except perhaps the first category, though of course a higher proportion the further along the list you go. And the odd thing is that there are gay people in each group!

    Oversimplifying serves no purpose. Particularly when, as in this case, chances are the person in question is Christian herself.

  • Merv

    @hyhybt: Oversimplifying serves a very useful purpose: It helps us efficiently prosecute the war against our oppressors. If the soldiers engaged in the D-Day landings on Normandy had stopped to contemplate which of the German soldiers had been drafted against their will and might secretly oppose the Nazis, they would have been mowed down where they stood.

  • hyhybt

    @Merv: hardly a reasonable comparison. It’s not a matter of people fighting pn the wrong sude unwillingly, but of people fihhting on the RIGHT side being lumped in with those on the wrong just because you personally prefer to hold a grudge against all of Christianity rather than bothering to distinguish between friend and foe on anything like a rational basis.

  • Merv

    @hyhybt: The problem is they ALL pretend to “love” us, so it’s impossible to tell friend from foe. Rather than risk getting stabbed in the back, it’s better to assume the worst.

  • jwrappaport

    @Spike: False. Punitive damages are generally not available for breach of contract. (Although perhaps you probably didn’t mean “punitive” in the technical sense.)

    I’m not sure how I feel about this case. My sense is that the no-gay clause should be held unenforceable as a matter of equity and policy, but good luck convincing a judge to do that. Absent a non-discrimination statute, I doubt she has much of a case.

  • unclemike

    Unless she knew she was gay when she first signed into the college, she was not untruthful. And, according to what I read, the clause at the school was against “immoral behavior.” The school might have a hard time proving that just declaring one’s sexuality is “immoral behavior.”

  • Aussie Col

    I think the fact Powell submitted to their counseling and church attendance regime prior to being expelled, should be enough to give her some grounding. As read here the school policy does not say expulsion and I suspect the school has taken liberties in their application of their policies.
    Grace University is the School of the Devil. I can see none of the teachings of Jesus in their actions.

Comments are closed.