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Middle States Council on Higher Education, the accreditor for the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Art Institute of Philadelphia, rejected the sale of both Education Management Corporation institutions to the Dream Center Foundation, according to a decision posted last week.

The council cited "insufficient information and evidence" in denying EDMC's request, although the for-profit can resubmit the request with additional information.

The Dream Center, which is a religious missionary organization based in Los Angeles, announced plans to buy EDMC in March. The foundation plans to keep the EDMC institutions -- Argosy University, South University and the Art Institutes -- secular after the sale is approved and finalized. The sale remains under review by the U.S. Department of Education, as well.

Middle States also took action on financial problems at the Art Institute of Philadelphia and warned that the institution's accreditation may be in jeopardy because of a failure to show "documented financial resources, funding base and plans for financial development adequate to support its educational purposes." The institute has to submit a report by Sept. 15 showing evidence it meets standards.