Alliance University loses accreditation, will remain closed as leadership explores options

Alliance University, a Christian academic institution based in New York that was formerly known as Nyack College.
Alliance University, a Christian academic institution based in New York that was formerly known as Nyack College. | Alliance University

The New York City-based Alliance University, a liberal arts school affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance formerly known as Nyack College, has officially lost its accreditation and will remain closed for the time being.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education announced Friday that Alliance's accreditation ceased by Aug. 31, fulfilling an earlier announcement in June to eventually end the university's accreditation.

The MSCHE explained that while accepting certain "teach-out agreements" for the benefit of students, it rejected the agreement made between Alliance and the Seminario Evangelico de Puerto Rico in San Juan because, according to the commission, the seminary "is not in good standing with an accrediting agency recognized by the [U.S. Department of Education]."

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"Students at the branch campus in Puerto Rico must understand that the cease date of accreditation impacts them as well. The branch campus is no longer accredited once Alliance University accreditation has ended," stated the commission.

"The Commission has again requested the substantive change for institutional closure, which is intended to provide information helpful for students at all locations. That report is due September 6, 2023."

Alliance University President Rajan Mathews told The Christian Post on Tuesday that he considers the MSCHE move "totally unexpected," arguing that the university was "well on our way to recovery, showing exceptional student enrollment growth and financial sufficiency in the year 2023-24 and beyond."

"Even the MSCHE acknowledge we had met all the other criteria for accreditation except the one criterion of financial sufficiency," said Mathews. "This is why we were completely caught off guard by the accreditation withdrawal."

"We believe MSCHE simply does not understand the unique business model of non-profit religious institutions, which have to raise substantial financial aid and scholarships to enable students we focus on — the immigrants, first time college students, economically disadvantaged, minorities — gain a quality education."

Mathews said the MSCHE decision "cuts off the bulk of our future revenue stream which is from student tuition" and effectively removes "any ability to recover now or in the future."

According to Mathews, Alliance does not plan to appeal the decision but will "continue to look to ensure its students find alternate educational options and its staff and faculty find alternative employment opportunities."

Founded in 1882 and previously known as Nyack College, the name was changed last September following the institution's move from Nyack, New York, to Manhattan. The institution announcedin late June that it was closing down due to the MSCHE planning to end its accreditation by the end of the year.

The Alliance Board of Trustees said they would "wind down on-campus and online educational offerings as of August 31" and "not offer courses for the Fall semester."

The decision to close stemmed from the MSCHE's announcement in March that Alliance had to "show cause" as to why it should remain an accredited university.

MSCHE stated at the time that it had found "insufficient evidence that the institution is in compliance with the Commission's standards for accreditation, requirements of affiliation, policies and procedures, and applicable federal regulatory requirements."

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