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Bennett College Files Federal Lawsuit To Keep Accreditation

Bennett College’s accreditation was restored Friday afternoon by a federal court in Atlanta, Georgia.

The school had lost its accreditation earlier Friday when the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools denied the college’s appeal to maintain their accreditation.

After the appeal was rejected, the all-women's historically black college immediately filed a lawsuit against SACS along with a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent SACS from revoking their accreditation.

Legal proceedings surrounding the lawsuit are expected to last several months during which time Bennett College will remain accredited.

“Our fight continues,” Bennett College President Phyllis Worthy Dawkins said. “The accreditation process can be slow and even disappointing at times. The negative decision by SACS to remove Bennett from membership will not disrupt the daily operations of the college.”

Last December, SACS voted to revoke the school’s accreditation based on its finances. Bennett College appealed that decision and began the ambitious “Stand with Bennett” campaign to raise $5 million by February 1.

Bennett College says that fundraising effort yielded more than $9.5 million.

Bennett College is also seeking accreditation with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools and Schools. TRACS officials are scheduled to visit Bennett College in March.

Naomi P. Brown joined WUNC in January 2017.
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