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Md. sues for unused funds given to now-unaccredited college

Sojourner-Douglass College (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record)

Sojourner-Douglass College (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record)

Embattled Sojourner-Douglass College, which lost its accreditation last year and has been fighting to regain it ever since, is facing additional legal woes after Maryland’s attorney general announced Friday the state will sue for repayment of unspent grant funds.

The suit, filed in Baltimore City Circuit Court, alleges non-repayment of $400,000 in grant funds that were not used for authorized grant purposes, according to a news release.

The three state grants required the college to provide annual and final reports and return unspent funds; Sojourner-Douglass has allegedly not filed all of the required reports and has not returned any funds.

“Any state grant funds not used for its intended purpose must be returned,” Attorney General Brian E. Frosh said in a prepared statement. “The State of Maryland is rightfully owed the unspent and undocumented funds the college has not used.”

The college’s accreditation was withdrawn on June 30, 2015, after a nearly four-year process with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Without accreditation, the east Baltimore college cannot receive federal funds; at least 80 percent of the college’s tuition revenue comes from federal grants and loans.

The commission found the school lacked institutional financial viability. Sojourner-Douglass sought a temporary restraining order then an injunction, which were denied, and ultimately lost its bid in U.S. District Court.

The case is currently before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The school has not had students enrolled since it lost accreditation, and its east Baltimore campus is for sale.


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