Two of North Carolina’s private historically black colleges have twelve months to demonstrate fiscal solvency to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which yesterday announced warning status designations for Bennett College and Saint Augustine’s University.
The two schools, both hard hit over the last three years by enrollment decreases caused by changes to federal student aid lending and economic hardships faced by families nationwide, were the only HBCUs to face status changes during the association’s winter meetings held earlier this month.
Virginia State University, which was placed on warning status last year, will remain with the designation for six more months.
In a release, Bennett President Rosalind Fuse-Hall said that the school anticipated the status change, but is currently in good fiscal standing by way of stabilized enrollment, and several years of unqualified audits.
“With the current enrollment of 512, Bennett College is able to meet its financial obligations. It is also important to note that Bennett College has had unqualified audits for the last four years, meaning its financial records and statements are fairly and appropriately presented,” said Dr. Fuse-Hall. “The college is weathering the aftermath of the financial recession, changes in federal financial aid policies and the dip in high school graduation rates. Despite these time of change, the board and I are confident that the college will stabilize and continue to provide education for the future and nurture sisterhood for life.”
Bennett and Saint Augustine’s remain fully accredited in all respects, and eligible for students to receive publicly subsidized financial aid.