Atlanta HBCU Morris Brown College has successfully regained full accreditation after 20 years.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools in Virginia voted to grant Morris Brown full accreditation status on Apr. 26. In other words, the school’s students could now apply for federal loans and Pells grants.
Right before the end of 2021, the U.S. Department of Education also reinstated the school’s participation in the federal program.
Students attending a college without accreditation wouldn’t be able to receive federal financial aid.
“Morris Brown College just made history,” Morris Brown’s president, Dr. Kevin James, told AJC. “We’re excited about it. A lot of people had written us off. But due to a lot of hard work and dedication, we were able to regain our accreditation.”
The institution was previously accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, but it was revoked in 2002 due to the HBCU’s growing debt and financial mismanagement.
Morris Brown even filed for bankruptcy in 2012, and its enrollment dropped from approximately 2,500 students to 2021’s miniscule population of about 50.
Thankfully, the school met its requirements for having enough faculty members to teach coursework which has allowed them to have a fresh start and, ultimately, gain more students.
TRACS’ president Timothy Eaton reportedly said Morris Brown “demonstrated a sound fundraising strategy and had some successful fundraising.”
“Morris Brown has been very diligent in doing what we asked them to do during the process,” he added.
The association has planned to do annual reviews of the college’s finances and audits as part of the post-accreditation process.
Morris Brown, a private liberal arts college, was founded in 1881 by the Georgia Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and it was named after one of its bishops. It was the first HBCU created by Black people for Black students in Georgia, and tuition has been around $4,250 per semester.
“Morris Brown College is unique to the Atlanta experience when we talk about historically Black colleges and universities,” Maurice Hobson, a civil rights and Atlanta scholar, told 11 Alive.
“We all want to see Morris Brown win. If Morris Brown wins, then Atlanta ultimately wins.”
Reports indicated that the Department of Education has recognized 107 HBCUs in the U.S. Of the 107, three were shut down, and two have been at risk of losing their accreditation.
Luckily, Morris Brown has no longer been a part of that list.