An HBCU in South Florida is in Danger of Closing

In Summary

Florida Memorial University could close due to a growing list of financial issues cited by its accrediting agency. 

Florida Memorial University, a Historical Black College and University in South Florida, is in danger of closing due to a growing list of financial issues cited by its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).   

The Miami Times reported FMU had been placed on a yearlong probation for failure to meet federal and state responsibilities, as well as financial standard requirements. If FMU does not address its financial obligations and fails to comply with financial-aid program duties by June 2022, the SACSCOC could revoke its accreditation.  

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Losing accreditation would mean FMU would lose federal funding, Pell Grants for students and diplomas from the school, and students currently enrolled in the school would have no value in their degrees.  

FMU has been a private institution for 142 years with alumni such as Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, Olympic long jump gold medalist Jeffery Henderson and Barrington Irving, the first Black pilot to fly solo around the world.  

Six HBCUs have closed in the last 20 years, which leaves only 101 of the historically Black colleges in operation.  

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“It’s very sad to see what the university was and see where it is now,” FMU alum and current Florida A&M University assistant professor Terrell Brown tells New Times. “There’s a lot of history, a lot of legacy there. It would be very heartbreaking, honestly, if something were to happen to the university in terms of its accreditation.” 

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