With a mountain of debt and less than three dozen remaining students, Morris Brown College in Atlanta may be reconsidering its refusal last year to sell its 37-acre campus to the city, according to media reports.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in February that the school sought a bankruptcy court’s approval to retain a real estate broker and pursue the sale of its campus. It was unclear how that sale would affect the college’s handful of remaining students and its continued operation.
The historically Black institution was founded in 1881, but was crippled in 2003 when it lost its accreditation after an investigation revealed two top officials embezzled millions in student financial aid and redirected it to other purposes.
Attendance plummeted as thousands of students sought an education elsewhere; according to a recent profile by American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” the school currently boasts just 35 students attending classes at a campus which is largely boarded up.
The Journal-Constitution reported the school rebuffed a $9.7 million offer by the city last year that would have absolved the school of more than $35 million in debt. The newspaper indicated that the city could potentially sell or lease portions of the property to other groups, including two local churches, while still allowing Morris Brown space to operate.