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Morris Brown College on path to regain accreditation

After 20 years, the Atlanta-area HBCU hopes to access federal funding and attract more students.
Image: Morris Brown College
A sign on the Morris Brown College campus in Atlanta on July 18, 2015.Raymond Boyd / Getty Images file

Morris Brown College in Atlanta announced Wednesday that its application for accreditation had been approved after nearly 20 years of revocation due to debt and financial mismanagement.

The Transnational Association of Christian Colleges approved the college’s application and called for a vote as early as April to reinstate Morris Brown with its full accreditation status. That would permit the historically Black college access to federal funding, which could in return allow it to give more financial aid to students.

“This is history in the making,” President Kevin James said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Morris Brown intends to become the first HBCU to earn its accreditation back twenty years after losing it.” He added that the school will begin applying for aid, and permission to distribute it, after the accreditation committee votes on Morris Brown’s candidacy.

Reinstatement is likely to attract more students as accreditation verifies that schools can provide a basic education. Accreditation is usually a third-party process that reviews and approves competency to meet standard educational benchmarks.

Former Morris Brown student Mario Beatty tweeted: “This is great news. I probably would have never left Morris Brown College had it not lost its accreditation. It was a special place.”

Morris Brown was previously accredited via the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools before encountering a series of financial troubles, including bankruptcy and having a former president and financial aid director plead guilty to embezzlement.

After losing accreditation in 2002, Morris Brown left the Atlanta University Center, a consortium of neighboring HBCUs, such as Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College and Morehouse College.

These irregularities deterred prospective students, digging the school into a deeper financial hole.

Jay Brick, who had considered attending Morris Brown, tweeted: “If Morris Brown never went down, I never would’ve went to ASU. Glad they’re back.”

Morris Brown’s getting back on track is a “proud” moment for many; Rochelle Myrick tweeted: “Very proud to be a Morris Brown College Alumni every damn day!”

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