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Morris Brown College financial aid victory to 'open up the floodgates' for prospective students

Twenty years ago one of Georgia’s HBCUs lost its accreditation. Now it is on the path of getting it back.

ATLANTA — Twenty years of effort were marked for 140-year-old Morris Brown College last Friday when they announced the reinstatement of their financial aid program. The college announced Friday that the U.S. Department of Education reinstated its participation in the federal program after MBC received accreditation candidacy.

This monumental achievement for MBC comes seven months after the historic Black college announced to the world its accreditation candidacy by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS). MBC's candidacy means the college is compliant with standards evaluated by an accreditation commission.

In December 2002, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges  (SACSCOC), an educational accreditor, revoked MBC’s accreditation due to debt and financial mismanagement. This caused MBC students to lose access to federal financial aid and student loans. It also caused student populations to decrease, said Morris Brown College President Dr. Kevin James. 

For the first time in nearly 20 years, MBC students will be able to apply to federal funding programs including grants, scholarships, work-study jobs, federal or private loan programs.

“This is a historic announcement here at Morris Brown College, having our financial aid restored. It’s been about 20 years since our students had access to title four funding,” said James. 

The college president received the news of MBC's accreditation candidacy in April and then took the next step in helping the college by applying for financial aid. 

“We're so excited this is going to open up the floodgates for students to be able to attend Morris Brown College and be able to apply for federal financial aid to pay for college,” said James. 

It costs about $4,250 a semester to attend MBC, according to James. 

The college was founded by formerly enslaved religious leaders at Big Bethel AME Church in 1881. Morris Brown is the first college in Georgia to be owned and operated by African Americans, a news release read.

“Morris Brown College is back,” said James.

James attributes obtaining financial aid as a success for the college and urges students interested in attending MBC to apply for their January 10th start date.

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