Paul Quinn College Loses Accreditation

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has stripped historically black Paul Quinn College of its accreditation citing financial and academic problems. The loss of accreditation comes at a time when the college appears to have been making progress. Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, reports that $1 million in debt has been retired and that the college ended the year with an operating surplus. He noted that while enrollments dropped from 590 to 440 students this past year, applications to the college quadrupled from 273 in 2008 to 1,150 this year.

The loss of accreditation is often the death knell for a college or university. Students at schools without accreditation are not eligible for federal or state financial aid. More than 80 percent of the student body at Paul Quinn College receives federal Pell Grants for low-income students.

Two other black colleges — Florida Memorial University and Tougaloo College in Mississippi — were placed on accreditation warning status by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Historically black Dillard University and Texas Southern University were removed from accreditation probation status by the association.