Another Setback for Paine College’s Battle to Retain Its Accreditation

Historically Black Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, was recently informed of the ruling by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in its litigation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The court affirmed the lower court’s decision that ruled that the SACSCOC was justified in revoking the college’s accreditation.

The SACSCOC first questioned Paine’s financial status in 2011 after the Augusta Chronicle reported that the college lost eligibility for a federal student loan program, had not returned unused financial aid for students who withdrew, and bounced many financial aid checks among other financial issues. After a two-year probationary period, SACSCOC voted to remove Paine’s accreditation in 2016. The college sued in response and obtained an injunction preventing the association from revoking accreditation until the suit was settled.

Paine College will remain a member of SACSCOC pursuant to the lower court’s injunction while it considers its further appellate rights. As long as the injunction is in place, Paine still has its accreditation.

In addition, Paine College is a candidate for accreditation by Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. Students at colleges that are candidates for accreditation have full rights to federal financial aid.

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