Paine College Loses Accreditation, But Court Injunction Maintains Status Quo

PaineLogoThis past June, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) voted to strip historically Black Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, of its accreditation. Paine College had been on probation for the previous two years and the accrediting agency was not satisfied with the progress the college was making to insure its financial stability.

Paine College appealed the decision and the college’s accreditation remained intact during the appeals process. But the college was recently informed that the appeal was rejected. Without accreditation, students at Paine College will be ineligible for federal financial aid programs. Currently, about 95 percent of Paine College students participate in federal financial aid programs.

The college immediately stated that it would file a suit against the accrediting agency and asked the federal court to stay the loss of accreditation until the suit is heard in court. On September 19, the court agreed to a preliminary injunction. So, for now, Paine College is still accredited.

SamSullivanSamuel Sullivan, president of Paine College, said that “this was not a review process that was governed by standards of due process. Although we presented abundant evidence that we had satisfied the issues SACSCOC identified, SACSCOC chose to ignore such evidence. Fortunately, SACSCOC does not have the last word. We believe that a court of law, following standards of due process which are guaranteed by federal law but completely absent from our proceedings before SACSCOC, will vindicate our position and ultimately order our SACSCOC accreditation restored.”

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  1. Parents like myself can’t wait until Paine College take this to court because our kids who were affected will be suing the college as well. Deceiving enrollment practices affected my child!!

  2. This is very interesting in that UNC Chapel Hill had decades of problems stemming from fraudulent classes (and their students received federal financial aid) and received a slap on the wrist from SACSCOC. How can the U.S. Department of Education sanction this organization to be creditable with information regarding any college or university when they lack the integrity to govern themselves? Paine College and any other college/university should petition the U.S. Inspector General to investigate both organizations (U.S. Department of Education and SACSCOC) because something does not smell right.

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