Morris Brown College has officially regained its full accreditation status following a 20-year journey, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Leaders at the Atlanta HBCU hope this milestone will help spur the enrollment of students.
According to the newspaper, the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools voted Tuesday (April 26) to grant Morris Brown its full accreditation. The Virginia-based organization's vote now opens the way for students to be able to apply for federal student loans, Pell Grants, and more. Students attending colleges without full accreditation cannot apply for the federal financial assistance programs.
"Morris Brown College just made history," Morris Brown President Kevin E. James said in an interview with the 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The school's accreditation was revoked in 2002 by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (TRACS) due to its increasing debt, which ultimately exposed embezzlement at the administrative level. TRACS President Timothy Eaton told the AJC that Morris Brown met the requirements for faculty to teach coursework and "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," Eaton said.
Founded in 1881 by the Georgia Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Morris Brown College was Georgia's first institution of higher learning created by Black people for Black people. The College is named after one of the Church's bishops.
President James revealed a press conference is planned for Thursday (April 28) to formally announce the news.