Monday, December 22

Is It Over??? Morris Brown College May Be Officially Closing Its Doors

Morris Brown College is one of the most well known historically Black institutions of higher learning in the nation. Yet, their financial problems in recent years have caused their enrollment to plummet from as high as 3,000 to as low as 56 !!!

That's 56 members of the entire student body!

Their original problems started several years ago, when former President Dolores Cross and former Financial Aid Director Parvesh Singh were criminally charged with acquiring millions of dollars in federal loans and grants in the names of students who did not exist. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools revoked Morris Brown’s accreditation in 2002. And because a degree from a school without accredditation is career suicide, enrollment at Morris Brown will probably never be fixed unless Oprah decides to donate a couple of million. Even more importantly than unaccreditation, the school has lost its ability to obtain government funds. That means you can't get any loans, scholarships, grants, or any money from the government if you go to Morris Brown!!!

How much exactly would someone need to donate to fix their problems?

Their current debt is up to $32 million!!!

Plus, the AJC is reporting that the city just cut off the school's water due to a $380,000 unpaid bill; $1.5 million in other bills stand.
They are trying to renegotiate a new payment plan with the Atlanta government, but the mayor's spokeswoman, Beverly Isom, recently said that “this problem has been apparent for some time. I don’t think it’s because they don’t have water that Morris Brown has financial problems.”

However, having a water bill that is $380,000 that the school cannot pay is definitely not going to help the school's situation. This potentially fatal blow comes as Morris Brown has begun something of a rebirth. Last spring, the General Assembly allowed the school to begin accepting students who receive the state’s HOPE scholarship. Enrollment this fall more than doubled to about 240.

Sidebar: I just finished my last semester at Morehouse, another HBCU in Atlanta (we're actually right down the street from MBC), and a fellow member of the Atlanta University Center, the nations' largest consortium of Black college students. The AUC is definitely missing the energy that Morris Brown College brought to the area. In addition, I can say that for at least my first two or three years at Morehouse, I kept hearing that Morris Brown was about to come back in full effect. In fact, they were even on our football schedule one year to play us. But that didn't happen.

I really hope that they get it together! If you want to relive Morris Brown's heydays, check out the video below. Morris Brown was the band that starred opposite the fictional "Atlanta A&T" in the 2002 movie DRUMLINE with Nick Cannon. Morris Brown's "Marching Wolverine Band" is dressed in purple. They were PHENOMENAL in the movie!

WillyTee for