Ossoff seeks federal support for Morris Brown College

Senator wants students to receive federal financial aid as school seeks accreditation
Morris Brown College is working to regain its accreditation.

Morris Brown College is working to regain its accreditation.

U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff wants the federal government to allow an Atlanta college to participate in a key program that could boost the school’s enrollment as it fights for its future.

Ossoff, an Atlanta Democrat, wrote a letter Friday to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona asking him to permit Morris Brown College in its financial aid programs amid the school’s ongoing effort to regain its accreditation.

The Decatur-based Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges stripped Morris Brown of its accreditation in 2002, citing years of financial issues and mismanagement. Students attending a school without accreditation cannot receive federal financial aid. Morris Brown, a historically Black college, primarily serves students from low-income households who need financial help to pay for tuition.

Morris Brown’s enrollment, which had peaked two decades ago at 2,700, had about 50 students earlier this year.

U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., holding the microphone, speaks during an event on Nov. 22, 2021, outside the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library about legislation to provide cybersecurity training funds to historically Black colleges and universities. (Courtesy of U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff's office)

Credit: Photo Contributed

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Credit: Photo Contributed

Morris Brown is working with the Virginia-based Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools to earn its accreditation. In April, the association approved the college’s “Candidacy for Accreditation.” The college applied in May to be allowed in federal financial aid programs.

“These financial aid programs, like the Federal Pell Grant, are vital to ensuring more students will be able to attend and complete a degree at Morris Brown College,” Ossoff wrote. “I urge you to accept Morris Brown College’s application for participation in Federal financial aid program.”