Education, News

Bennett College has accreditation restored as lawsuit proceeds

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools announced it had revoked Bennett College’s accreditation Friday. But late in the day a federal court in Atlanta, Georgia granted a restraining order that will allow the college to remain accredited as the suit proceeds.

“We urge everyone to keep the faith and know that Bennett College is standing strong,” said Bennett President Phyllis Worthy Dawkins in an evening press conference.

Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, president of Bennett College

As the college fights to maintain its accreditation with the association, it is also pursuing accreditation through the  Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Dawkins said.

Representatives from that organization will visit the campus on March 14.

Bennett needs accreditation in order for its students to receive federal student aid, including loans and Pell Grants.

Despite a high-profile two month fundraising drive that raised almost $10 million, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools said Bennett came to the end of its two-year probation without being able to demonstrate “sound financial resources and a demonstrated, stable base to support the mission of the institution and the scope of its programs and services.”

A small historically black private college for women in Greensboro, Bennett a long history of operating on the financial edge. The school posted a financial loss for six consecutive years until 2016, when Dawkins became its leader. This year, before its emergency fundraising drive, the college had projected a $700,00 surplus.

The school currently owes about $30 million related to new buildings and renovations and has only $13 million in its endowment, the fund that is often seen as a key indicator of a college’s financial health.

The college saw a 40 percent decline in student enrollment between 2010 and 2016, its period of greatest financial crisis. It currently has just over 400 undergraduate students. College officials say the national headlines about its struggles and the energy generated to support the school has led to 4,000 applications for the coming fall semester – about twice as many as usual.


Check Also

News and notes from Friday’s UNC Board of Governors meeting

Friday’s meeting of the UNC Board of Governors ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) is seeking the open chancellor’s position at Ea [...]

A public schools advocacy group is calling on North Carolina leaders to take “immediate and intentio [...]

"Satirical" Facebook site seeks to promote Trump's re-election When Jonathan Jones sa [...]

Not everyone in North Carolina understands the implications of court fines and fees and how expenses [...]

After a few months of unemployment I was going stir-crazy so I got a job as a cashier at a local gro [...]

Say this for North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore and his surrogates, they are determined con arti [...]

The lengths to which conservative ideologues and members of the Trump cult will go in order to avoid [...]

The post Causey & effect (with Lt. Gov. Dan Forest) appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]