After a nearly two-decade journey, Morris Brown College in Atlanta has regained full accreditation status.
On Tuesday, the Virginia-based accreditation agency, Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), voted to grant the Historically Black College full accreditation.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), students can now apply for federal loans and Pell grants and graduate with accredited degrees. Students not attending an accredited school do not qualify for federal financial aid.
The school was previously accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which revoked its accreditation in 2002 because of its expanding debt and reported fiscal mismanagement. Morris Brown only had about 50 students enrolled last year.
The college has now met TRACS faculty requirements for coursework, has a comprehensive fundraising strategy, and has had some fundraising success, as reported by AJC.
“Morris Brown College just made history,” the school’s President, Dr. Kevin James, told the AJC in a telephone interview. “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.”
According to James, the school is the only college in the country to regain full accreditation and funding after 20 years without it.
The 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. The college was the first institution of higher learning created by Black people for Black students in Georgia.
Community advocates for the school’s accreditation told Atlanta’s 11 Alive that the institution’s journey to becoming federally recognized once again is vital to Atlanta’s history and for future generations.
“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, said in a recent interview with the news outlet.
“We all want to see Morris Brown win,” Hobson said. “If Morris Brown wins, then Atlanta ultimately wins.”
Morris Brown College has planned to hold a news conference on Thursday to formally announce the reaccreditation.