10 Sep 2004

'Very few tomorrows' for College of Marshall Islands

7:29 am on 10 September 2004

US education officials say they are very reluctant to give the national College of the Marshall Islands any more time to get its house in order.

Officials of the US Western Association of Schools and Colleges have visited the islands to assess how the College can meet basic standards.

In the wake of the visit, lawmakers in the Marshall Islands have begun discussing higher budget allocations for the college.

But the executive director for the Accrediting Commission, Doctor Barbara Beno, says there are very few tomorrows left for the college.

Doctor Beno says the College is so far below standard that it is not able to pass the standards.

A loss of accreditation will virtually close the college, as it will lose two-thirds of its six million US dollars in annual funding.

Accreditation makes the college eligible for US federal funding, including Pell student aid funds that underwrite the cost for virtually all of the students.