Education Department Approves Aid for Morris Brown
Financially strapped Morris Brown College can breathe a sigh of relief — for now.
Federal education officials have approved $372,000 in financial aid that had been withheld from the 117-year-old historically Black college. It is the first time in this school year that the U.S. Department of Education has released financial aid funds to the private college in Atlanta, which is $23 million in debt (see Black Issues, Nov. 21).
The funds represent financial aid for 75 students attending the college, which has about 2,500 students.
Education Department spokeswoman Stephanie Babyak said the payment merely means the school met federal guidelines for submitting aid applications.
“This is no indication that the larger issues are resolved,” she says.
The college has not entered an agreement to repay the federal government $5.4 million dollars in aid that the school could not justify receiving. Federal officials said negotiations will continue.
Meanwhile, Morris Brown officials welcomed the news.
“It may be a small step, but it’s important,” says Sheryl Turner-Spivey, Morris Brown’s executive director of financial aid.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is scheduled to vote on the college’s accreditation this month. If Morris Brown’s accreditation is revoked, the school no longer would be eligible for federal aid.
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