According to a report from tricities.com, VI president E. Clorisa Phillips last month informed hundreds of gathered students and faculty about the "devastating news" that a planned merger with another school would not be taking place and that the school stood to lose its accreditation effective July 1, 2014. According to the news report, "The news came nearly 10 months after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges voted to drop VI from its membership, which would have ended its accreditation and its ability to provide federal financial aid for students. While accreditation isn’t required for operating, it is the gold standard and school officials had worked for much of the year to retain it." In the interim since the accrediting body's pronouncement in June 2013, VI had been hoping to arrange for a merger with Florida-based Webber International University. But an arrangement with the institution could not be reached.
The Tricities.com report indicates that Phillips, VI's president, is refusing to say that the 130-year-old school will definitely close later this year, but that "the failed merger and pending loss of accreditation are clearly the most damaging blows yet for a school that continues to struggle to pay its bills."
The School's 130th graduation is to be held on May 4th, followed by an 8-week summer course. Plans thereafter have not been made clear, Tricities.com reported.
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