Wilberforce University, one of the nation’s oldest historically Black universities, will lose its accreditation if it is unable to demonstrate within six months its fiscal and administrative fitness to the regional accrediting agency for Midwestern and Southwestern schools.
The university, near Xenia, Ohio, has received a “show cause” decision from the Higher Learning Commission which accredits more than 1,000 colleges and universities in 19 states from West Virginia to Arizona.
Losing accreditation would make Wilberforce ineligible to receive Pell Grants, Perkins loans and other federal loans and grants that its students use to finance their education. That loss could be devastating to the struggling institution that depends on tuition to make ends meet. In 2011, for example, tuition and fees totaled $9.3 million – about 64 percent of the school’s $14.5 million in revenues.