Wilberforce University Faces Potential Loss of Accreditation

Documents released Tuesday reveal that Wilberforce University, the nation’s oldest private historically Black university, has been notified that its accreditation is in jeopardy.

The Ohio Higher Learning Commission, the accrediting body, has issued a “Show-Cause Order” that requires the school to show cause as to why it should not lose its accreditation. The commission cites financial, management and enrollment issues that resulted in a lack of ability “to make adequate and realistic plans for the future.”

If the school, which has 377 students according to commission documents, loses accreditation, it could mean that students are not eligible for federal financial aid. The university has until Dec. 15 to present its report.

Wilberforce, founded in 1856 by members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, ended fiscal year 2013 with a deficit of $9.7 million in its operating fund and is projected to lose $700,000 this year.