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Panel Votes to Strip St. Andrews of Accreditation

Posted June 26, 2007

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— The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has voted to strip Saint Andrews Presbyterian College of its accreditation, threatening its access to federal student aid programs.

Association Vice President Tom Bemburg said the school hasn't shown financial stability or an ability to support its mission and scope of programs.

The group suspended St. Andrews two years ago, which the college said was because of a disagreement over the college's strategic plan and how it structured its finances, including extensive borrowing to fund enrollment expansion.

St. Andrews plans to appeal the decision. It will remain accredited until all appeals are exhausted.

Only accredited schools are granted the ability to administer federal student aid.

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  • The Capitalist Jun 27, 2007

    [continued from previous post]...Certainly, the market has a place for such schools, just as there are various levels of price and quality in clothing and other markets (you've got Ross, K-Mart, Target, JCPenney, Lord & Taylor, etc--a whole range). But the point is, there would still be a lot of higher-standard schools like the Ivy Leagues and other prestigious schools. Your fears are completely unfounded.

  • The Capitalist Jun 27, 2007

    And regarding your other point, I shouldn't have to point out that education is not a basic human right. It's a logical impossibility for anything that is provided at someone else's expense (tax dollars) to be a right (and that applies to primary education, too, despite what the state of NC might want you to think). However, that doesn't mean motivated students who lack financial resources wouldn't go to college. There are plenty of private companies and organizations that help foot the bill for motivated and promising students. Unfortunately, that has been made much more difficult for them since federal college aid has place dramatic upward pressure on tuition. And as for colleges lowering standards in order to increase enrollment, that simply doesn't make economic sense. Any college that did that would quickly become known for having lower standards, and they wouldn't be able to command as high a tuition as they could before...

  • The Capitalist Jun 27, 2007

    elcid89, I see you're new to the free market. Profit is in fact the thing that would motivate both the schools and the accrediting organizations to excel--unless of course you think consumers are too stupid or unconcerned with how they spend their limited money to bother checking out the accreditation to make sure it's reputable. Would you rather buy a car that got good reviews from Consumer Reports, or a car that got good reviews from Billy Bob's Car Guide? You see, the market takes care of such things--all because of profit.

  • john283594 Jun 27, 2007

    Oh, this is not new news for St. Andrews. They have been in trouble with SACS for a while now.

  • john283594 Jun 27, 2007

    Sounds like it is time for the Presbyterian church to step up, unless they sponser the college in name only. These denominations that start these colleges and almost every private non-profit college is afflitated with a denomination, need to do more to support these colleges.

    At this point either radical change at St. Andrews is needed or if the people in power are not up to the challenge then St. Andrews should close.

  • Scarecrow Cow Jun 26, 2007

    I had no idea St. Andrews was experiencing any kind of problems. I hope their bagpipe band doesn't suffer - I'm a piper myself and I can't help but be concerned about that.

  • bbad238 Jun 26, 2007

    Quote by elcid89 -at- caro -dot- net
    "St. Andrews is just a challenged institution, and this event reflects that situation"

    Don't speak without experience. Unless you have worked or attended the college, you aren't qualified to make such a judgment. Also read SACS report on the college before you make a incorrect comment.

  • elcid89 Jun 26, 2007

    "The federal subsidizing of higher education has led to an over production of people with college degrees. The free market wouldn't naturally result in so many, and the degrees that were given out would be worth much more. In EVERY instance, when the government subsidizes something, we get more of it than we should. Education is no different, despite the emotional attachment to it and the pride someone might get from bragging about how many people in their country have college degrees."

    In your scenario, degrees then go to those whose families or whose own personal situations affords them the ability to pay for college out of pocket. Your contention makes no allowances for either 1) those with ability who lack the financial capacity to finance an education without assistance and 2) the fact that colleges depend on tuition for survival and will lower standards if necessary to ensure that enrollment meets needed levels. I'm missing the upside to such an argument.

  • elcid89 Jun 26, 2007

    "competing organizations would emerge to accredit schools, and schools would then compete to gain accreditation from the most respected organizations."

    No, schools would then window shop for whichever certifying organization that would be willing to accredit them. In your scenario, there is no common standard by which these orgs run (other than profit), therefore as we've seen too many times, profitability will take precedence over quality and all the schools will suffer. All you'll succeed in accomplishing is lowering the bar even further.

    St. Andrews is just a challenged institution, and this event reflects that situation.

  • The Capitalist Jun 26, 2007

    And speaking of degrees not worth the paper they're printed on, that's true--but it's because there are too many of them. The federal subsidizing of higher education has led to an over production of people with college degrees. The free market wouldn't naturally result in so many, and the degrees that were given out would be worth much more. In EVERY instance, when the government subsidizes something, we get more of it than we should. Education is no different, despite the emotional attachment to it and the pride someone might get from bragging about how many people in their country have college degrees.

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