• Saint Augustine’s University sent its Letter of Arbitration to SACSCOC on March 8th.
  • SACSCOC received the SAU’s Letter of Arbitration on March 11th.
  • The arbitration proceedings shall be completed within 90 calendar days of the convening of the arbitration.
  • SAU remains accredited by SACSCOC through the Arbitration Process.
  • The University received an action letter from SACSCOC on February 27 outlining the February 2024 decision and providing an opportunity for SAU to submit their dispute to arbitration.
  • Saint Augustine’s University will send its Letter of Arbitration to SACSCOC on March 8.
  • The arbitration proceedings shall be completed within 90 calendar days of the convening of the arbitration.
  • SAU remains accredited by SACSCOC through the Arbitration Process.
  • SAU was granted an Appeal Hearing on February 20, 2024 in Atlanta, GA. 
  • SAU argued in its appeal that significant steps had been taken to correct areas of non-compliance with SACS-COC standards and that the University had the capacity to remedy areas of non-compliance within the next 12 months. 
  • SACSCOC decided to uphold its decision to remove SAU from membership and denied an extension of Probation for Good Cause until December 2025. 
  • Attorneys representing Saint Augustine’s University are planning to file an injunction requesting that courts weigh in on this case. During that injunction, SAU’s SACSCOC accreditation remains in place.
  • The University received an action letter from SACSCOC on January 11 outlining the December 2023 decision and providing an opportunity for SAU to appeal that decision. 
  • Saint Augustine’s University sent its Letter of Appeal to SACSCOC on January 19.
  • SAU will be granted an Appeal Hearing on February 19, 20, or 21. The University is awaiting a decision on that date. 
  • SAU remains accredited by SACSCOC through the Appeals Process.

At its meeting on December 5, 2023, the SACSCOC Board of Trustees took the following actions regarding the accreditation status of Saint Augustine’s University:

The Board voted to remove the University from SACSCOC membership for failure to comply with:

Core Requirement 4.1 (Governing board characteristics), Core Requirement 13.1 (Financial resources), Core Requirement 13.2 (Financial documents), Standard 13.3 (Financial responsibility), Standard 13.4 (Control of finances), Standard 13.6 (Federal and state responsibilities) of the Principles of Accreditation, and failure to meet the provisions of Good Cause.

Saint Augustine’s University will appeal the decision of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees. Saint Augustine’s University remains an accredited institution on Probation until the Appeal process concludes.

The University’s leadership team continues to address the issues cited by the SACSCOC’s Board of Trustees and will work collaboratively with SACSCOC’s staff to restore full compliance across all Principles of Accreditation.

During the last two years, SAU has taken unprecedented action to protect and advance the fiscal health of Saint Augustine’s University. These efforts are reflected in the significant progress in areas such as increased enrollment, increased alumni and employee giving, increased grant activity, increased endowments, reduced student debt, improved upward mobility of graduates, and year-end balanced budgets. In addition, the University has increased the number of student internships, external partnerships, and strategic partnerships and alliances. While we at SAU are disappointed with the decision made by the SACSCOC Board, we are not discouraged; the entire SAU community has renewed its commitment to fulfill the University’s vision and remain focused to carry out our mission.

Our board of trustees, leadership team, faculty, staff, students and alumni look forward to collaborating with SACSCOC during the coming weeks to demonstrate that we have addressed the noncompliance issues to ensure the university’s good standing in all accreditation principles.




Accreditation Status and Process · Financial Challenges and Student Balances · Impact on Current and Future Students · Leadership’s Commitment to Students · Campus Issues (Housing, Dining, Employee Payments etc.)


1. Has SAU lost its accreditation?

No, SAU remains accredited during the appeals/litigation process with its accreditor SACSCOC.

2. What are the next steps in the accreditation process?

SAU is appealing SACSCOC’s decision and may enter arbitration or litigation to maintain accreditation.

3. How long could the accreditation process take?

90 day for arbitration; Potentially 1-2 years for injunction/litigation; Approximately 13 months for accreditation with new agency.

4. What if SAU loses accreditation eventually?

SAU is not planning on closing its doors. However, SAU has been required to develop a teach-out plan to allow students to complete at other accredited institutions.


1. Why can't SAU pay employees/refunds right now?

Lack of positive cash flow due to outstanding student balances and other financial management issues.

2. How much is owed by students?

Unpaid student balances total more than $4 million.

3. Is there a plan to resolve the financial situation?

Yes, efforts like audits, restructuring, land deals are underway.


1. Will current seniors graduate with accredited degrees?


2. How will future semesters be impacted?

Classes will be moving forward for the fall semester. Administration will provide timely updates for students to make informed decisions.

3. Can students get transcripts/transfer?

Yes, students can transfer credits if needed. Unofficial transcripts are available in the student’s portal. Official transcripts can be obtained through the Registrar.

4. Are scholarships/financial aid impacted?

No, not for now. A loss of accreditation could impact this. However, SAU remains accredited and availability of student aid remains in place.


1. Why should students remain at SAU?

Leadership cares deeply about students and is committed to ensuring their academic success at SAU. Staff, faculty and administration are working hard daily to continue to provide an excellent academic and student experience.

2. What is being done for students?

Leadership is working to addressing issues like housing, dining and is committed to ensuring instructional continuity despite challenges.