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Grambling earns reaccreditation: decision keeps students eligible for aid.

Grambling State University (LA), on probation since 2001 because of years of bad bookkeeping, was reaccredited in December, a move that saved the historically black school from a potentially fatal blow. Without accreditation, Grambling students would be ineligible for federal financial aid. About 92 percent of the schools 4,000 undergraduate students receive such aid.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (www.sac-scoc.org) had placed the 102-year-old university on probation after financial records from the school dating to 1997 were found to be inadequate. Because of a two-year limit for probation cases, the association had to remove Grambling's accreditation blemish or revoke its accreditation entirely.

Although Grambling maintained a good academic reputation, faulty accounting reports made it impossible for state auditors to complete their work. "They've always had the money. They just didn't know where it was," commented Mike Woods, a board member of the University of Louisiana system that oversees Grambling.

A clean audit in 2002 and a second in October 2003 convinced SACS that Grambling had corrected its bookkeeping errors. Grambling's well-publicized effort to get back on track apparently had an additional benefit: The institution's undergraduate enrollment increased by 5 percent last fall.

"This has been a long road, but I honestly believe that Grambling is emerging a stronger, more vital university as a result," said acting Grambling President Neari Warner after hearing of the SACS verdict. The decision maintains the school's accreditation until 2010.
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Title Annotation:In The News
Publication:University Business
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Words:239
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