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Finances Threaten Louisburg College Accreditation

Posted December 26, 2007

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— Tight finances at Louisburg College could endanger the school's accreditation, which in turn might damage the local economy.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools recently warned Louisburg College officials that the school's financial stability needs to improve. The college's $15 million in annual revenue exceeds its expenses by more than $500,000, which SACS administrators said is too tight a margin.

College President Michael Clyburn said applications are up and more students are expected in the fall, which should boost revenue. But it's too early to determine how much revenue will exceed expenses.

The Louisburg College Board of Trustees is expected to meet in January to address the school's finances. Administrators said they plan to improve budgeting to increase profits, but a tuition increase and staff layoffs haven't been ruled out as possible remedies.

The college has been a cornerstone of the Louisburg community for 220 years. The two-year college draws nearly 800 students and employs about 130 people, and those students and faculty members bring their business downtown.

Deanna Sykes, the owner of Baxter's Ale House, said her pub would be forced to change the way it operates if Louisburg College lost its accreditation and had to shut down.

"I think that would be pretty detrimental," Sykes said. "(We would) schedule different entertainment, bring different types of crowds in. As opposed to gearing towards a younger crowd, (we would look at) maybe gearing towards an older crowd."

Louisburg Mayor Karl Pernell said the college help drive the local economy. Although he's confident the college will rebound financially, he said, the threat of closure can't be ignored.

"You naturally pay attention. There's no question about that," Pernell said. "People come here from all parts of the state and other states to different functions of this college."

Earlier this year, SACS stripped St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg of its accreditation because of financial questions.

6 Comments

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  • whatusay Dec 27, 2007

    Why not let illegal immigrants attend...Easley will pay their "in state tuition", I mean us tax payers will pay. First the hospital closed...I wonder if giving free health care to illegals had anything to do with that. Most US citizens try to stay away from hospitals since the line of illegals makes good health care impossible in many areas.

  • TheDude abides... Dec 27, 2007

    My most productive college years were at LBC. I really hope it can turn things around. Oldest collegiate institution in the state, next to Salem College (which is girls-only, so i guess LBC is the oldest co-educational college) 1787

  • myidea Dec 27, 2007

    First the hospital leaving now the college? Sounds like Louisburg is going down fast.

  • 1Moms_View Dec 26, 2007

    My grandmother was a student there in the 1930s. She always supported them with contributions until she was 90 and had to go into a rest home. My grandparents met there when she was a student.

  • anonemoose Dec 26, 2007

    First qualification to be a student: Are you breathing?
    Second, are your parents filthy rich?
    Third, if the answer to two is no, can you claim a socioeconomic disadvantage to get a 100% federal grant to cover the tuition, and can you stay reasonably out of jail until the 60% mark of the semester? If that answer is yes, then step right up and apply. A GPA of 1.6 isn't bad, it just shows how much room to succeed you have. Those criminal charges pending against you at home for armed robbery? Just check NO and if you don't tell, we won't ask. We even provide a convenience store within walking distance so that those of you with revoked licenses can still get your blunts to shell out and repack and your favorite 40 OZ beverage.

  • tinketaz Dec 26, 2007

    if they would stop giving those ignorant kids money to attend the school then they might have enough money to run the school.