Bennett Fundraising Total Reaches $9 Million as Officials Appeal Accreditation Loss

Officials from Bennett College appeared before a review panel in Atlanta this morning to formally appeal the loss of its accredited membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Their appeal was highlighted by a fundraising campaign which exceeded its original goal of $5 million in less than a month, to a total exceeding more than $9.5 million.

Bennett President Phyllis Worthy Dawkins expressed hope that the total would convince the appeals panel to reinstate the private HBCU for women in Greensboro, after attracting national attention for its efforts to resolve its multi-year probation and eventual accreditation loss last December for financial instability.

“We presented our case to SACSCOC officials this morning, buoyed by our successful #StandWithBennett fundraising campaign, which to date has raised $9.5 million,” Dawkins said. “We not only discussed our recent fundraising efforts but also presented a path forward for the College. SACSCOC must notify us of their decision within a week, by February 25, and we are hopeful for a favorable outcome.”

5 comments
  1. If I were SACSCOC I would put them on probation. Why because 9.5 million is probably just a drop in the bucket for what they really need. To have lost accreditation means that their finances must be shot. Meaning no endowment what so ever. It might be a wrap folks.

  2. They have a small endowment of about $14million. The biggest issue IMO is that SACS isn’t the right accreditor for smaller colleges. The only issue they sighted Bennett for was finances. Bennett finished last FY in the black. They are recovering (like many small colleges, especially HBCUs) from the recession and from policies that were put in place during the Obama administration that caused many families to not be able to take out loans and students to leave college. While the policies were reversed, the damage hasn’t. Smaller colleges are largely contingent on enrollment with regards to finances, meaning even a small drop in enrollment hits hard. Now that they have raised a sizable amount of money, they will have to focus on increasing and maintaining their enrollment. Increasing their alumni giving rate, though they are already one of the highest for HBCUs and about 3.5x the average giving rate of all colleges, will also help.

  3. I wish there were a better way of an accrediting agency besides SACS. Trying to go through them is like winning the lottery..there that billion and one chance that you’ll actually win the game. SACS is similar to it: if your school wins the jackpot, it’s almost rare to won accreditation from them.

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