Will Cheyney University lose its accreditation?

Cheyney University students walk on campus. (Image: Cheyney University)

Cheyney University is the oldest historically black college or university in the nation and will find out by year’s end if it will continue to have accreditation or not.

Cheyney has faced a 67 percent drop in enrollment since 2007 and been hampered by a lack of financial resources. In November, regional accreditation body the Middle States Association will decide if the college will remain an accredited institution, according to WHYY.

Cheyney is close in proximity to Philadelphia, with its campus sprawling across 275 acres of Delaware and Chester counties.

Ken Marshall, spokesman for the The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education says the system is steadfast in supporting Cheyney. “We’re going to continue to work with Cheyney in every way we can to support their efforts on behalf of students so that the university can continue either as an accredited institution or in some other form,” Marshall said.

The PSSHE, a system to which Cheyney belongs, will erase $30 million of the $43 million the school owes the system if it can make meet standards like keeping a balanced school budget.

In order to maintain a balanced budget, Cheyney has to raise $4 million by June, a key part of the process to help the HBCU keep its accreditation.

If Cheyney does not meet the appropriate standards, PSSHE Chancellor Daniel Greenstein has suggested that Cheyney could close, offer non-degree certificate programs or become a part of another university.

University officials will submit a report in August to the PSSHE, who will evaluate Cheyney’s progress before making a November decision that the school can appeal if necessary.

In another part of the country, North Carolina’s all-women HBCU Bennett College has also made headlines recently for its financial struggles and being in danger of losing its accreditation. Bennett College is one of only two HBCUs exclusively for women, making its need to stay open that much more important for women looking to attend college there.

St. Paul’s College (Lawrenceville, Virginia) was the last HBCU to close in 2013 after a long struggle with financial woes and lose its accreditation. 

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