Antioch College celebrated the news this weekend that the school is on the fast track to accreditation. The college was closed in 2008 by the board of trustees of Antioch University, and it reopened three years ago as a separate entity, driven (and funded) primarily by alumni who couldn’t stand to see the 162-year-old institution disappear.
“We know that this is an irreplaceable college,” said college president Mark Roosevelt in a speech to students, staff and alumni Saturday. He pointed out Antioch is the only place in the country working to open, rather than close, a liberal arts college. Saturday's presentation included a series of videos spoofing the accreditation process and high-pressure site visit, which took place in the fall of 2013. There was also a live student performance in which Horace Mann, Antioch's influential first president, rose from the dead to congratulate the school on its revival.
Right now the college can grant degrees, but without candidacy accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, students were unable to get federal financial aid, and Antioch couldn’t have international students. Roosevelt announced that after a bumpy start, the accreditation process is on track, and the college could get the status as soon as 2016.
WYSO is licensed to Antioch College and was founded by Antioch students in 1958.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Antioch College could not host international students or apply for federal financial aid without accreditation. In fact, candidacy for accreditation—which the college now has—will allow the college those options effective now.
Lewis Wallace is WYSO's economics reporter and substitute morning host. Follow him @lewispants.