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Nearly 20 years after losing its accreditation, Morris Brown College in Atlanta is now a candidate for accreditation with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, the college announced Tuesday.

Accreditation candidacy will allow the historically Black college to apply to participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs, which would provide Morris Brown students access to federal loans and Pell Grants.

The college lost its accreditation in 2002 after a former college president and financial aid director were found to be misappropriating money from the Department of Education. Since, the college has limped along with only a few dozen students enrolled each year. Participation in federal financial aid programs will likely be a boon for the college’s enrollment.

Kevin James, president of Morris Brown, said it is a new day for the college.

“We are elated about accreditation candidacy and making history. I want to thank all the faculty and staff for their hard work,” Brown said in a statement. “We intend on making history as the first HBCU to regain its status after a 20-year hiatus and the first HBCU to have a flagged hotel on its campus for a hospitality education program. These achievements have sparked other closed HBCUs to try again.”