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Baltimore International College keeps accreditation

Baltimore International College will retain its accreditation, and the critical federal financial aid eligibility that comes with it, to start the fall semester following a judge’s order issued late Wednesday night.

U.S. District Court Judge Marvin J. Garbis issued a temporary restraining order with only hours to go before the midnight deadline when the school’s accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education was set to expire.

The culinary and hospitality school with extensive real estate holdings in downtown Baltimore sought the court’s intervention in hopes of retaining its accreditation at least through the end of the year. BIC has a deal in place to be acquired by Stratford University, a for-profit school based in Virginia.

“If the school loses accreditation, the lender will foreclose on the building and Stratford won’t be able to go forward with the agreement,” BIC lawyer Daniel Prichard, of Dow Lohnes, told the judge Wednesday night.

Garbis warned BIC that it would not be able to simply “coast until December” if the court intervened.

In his opinion issuing the restraining order, Garbis wrote “the Court emphasizes the word ‘temporary.’”

The school, MSCHE and court will pick a date next week to debate BIC’s request for an injunction that would further delay its loss of accreditation.

The first day of classes at BIC this semester is Sept. 6.