(WASHINGTON, DC) – [December 13, 2018], Despite a 10 percent increase in fundraising, improvements in infrastructure, a two percent increase in enrollment and a grant to assist with accreditation efforts, on Dec. 11, UNCF (United Negro College Fund) member institution Bennett College was removed from membership by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Bennett has appealed the SACSCOC decision, and in the meantime, still maintains its SACSCOC membership. SACSCOC placed Bennett College on probation in 2016.
“At UNCF, not only do we stand by our member institutions, but we are also committed to supporting our members with the tools and resources to further enhance their sustainability and success. The fact that Bennett College has made significant improvements since being placed on accreditation probation two years ago is a testament to this Institution’s willingness and diligence to do everything it can to meet the standards set forth by its accrediting body and to ensure its students receive well-needed federal financial aid,” reported UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael Lomax. “Bennett College has always maintained a mission-centric culture, driven by the pursuit of academic excellence and providing its students with the best education possible. And we stand with them.”
“UNCF stands with Bennett College,” remarked UNCF Vice President of Public Policy & Government Affairs, Lodriguez Murray. “The Institution’s president, Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, the Board of Trustees and other administrators have worked diligently to increase enrollment. Thanks to strong support from its alumnae – ranked in the Top Three in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) alumni giving – the College has done a remarkable job at increasing fundraising. Under the terms of its probationary period, the College has made every effort to provide evidence of a sound financial base and resources and has demonstrated more financial stability. Bennett, along with twelve other HBCUs, received a deferment from the U.S. Department of Education for its HBCU Capital Finance Program loan. The Department is committed to reimbursing Bennett $1.185 million, and it is our hope that the Department will issue that refund in the coming days to assist Bennett and show increased financial stability. It will be disastrous if the state of North Carolina loses this historical institution that has served the community for well over a century,” Murray concluded.
Bennett College graduates women of color through a transformative liberal arts education and remains accredited and open for business. The Institution has been a pillar of the Greensboro, North Carolina, community since 1873 and provides educational access to students while promoting inquiry, civic engagement, social justice, lifelong learning and equity for all.
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UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 21 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges