July 12, 2012

Manchin Seeks to Help Mountain State University Students Affected by Loss of Accreditation

Washington, D.C. – After learning that Mountain State University’s accreditation is being revoked, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is working to make sure that all possible resources are made available to any affected students and personnel. Senator Manchin is working closely with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Education. 

The Higher Learning Commission, which is an independent corporation of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, announced this week that it is revoking accreditation for Mountain State University, effective August 27. Without accreditation, MSU cannot award degrees to current students, and credits received from the University may not be transferable to an accredited school. This will directly impact the 3,769 enrolled students at MSU — including approximately 600 West Virginia veterans and 560 students who receive state financial aid.

“This is truly saddening news for the students, faculty and staff at Mountain State University and for the communities where the school is located,” Senator Manchin said. “I am working with state and federal agencies to ensure that we do everything possible to help those affected by today's announcement. First and foremost, my top priority is the students, who have worked and paid for a good education and deserve to be able to attain their degrees. I will also do everything in my power to make sure there are viable opportunities for the faculty and personnel at the school. Finally, I will work in every possible way to reduce the impact on the economies of the communities in Beckley, Raleigh County, Martinsburg and the surrounding areas.” 

At this time, Mountain State University has the option to appeal; however, there is no guarantee that an appeal will be successful. That is why the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission is strongly encouraging all current and prospective MSU students to explore other educational opportunities. 

The West Virginia Commission will be hosting college fairs in the Beckley and Martinsburg areas today, tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday. 

The Beckley event will be held from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and tomorrow at the Emma Byrd Higher Education Center, at 300 University Drive in Beaver. The Martinsburg event will be held Monday, July 16 and Tuesday, July 17 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College at 400 West Stephen Street in Martinsburg. 

Additional detailed information will be posted at www.cfwv.com and advertised in local newspapers when details become available.  

Students who receive state-level financial aid, such as the PROMISE Scholarship and/or the West Virginia Higher Education Grant, or students who are veterans and receive GI Bill Benefits are encouraged to contact the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Financial Aid by phone at 1-877-987-7664 or online at FinancialAid@hepc.wvnet.edu for information and assistance. 

Students with additional questions can contact Dr. Kassie Butler from the Higher Education Policy Commission by phone at 304-558-0261 or email at kbutler@help.wvnet.edu