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A small, historically black university in Ohio could lose its accreditation due to problems including low enrollment and financial deficits.

The Higher Learning Commission sent a “show cause order” to Wilberforce University this past week requiring the school to show why its accreditation shouldn’t be withdrawn.

Loss of accreditation could result in students lacking eligibility for federal financial aid and having problems transferring credits, according to the commission.

The commission said Wilberforce must respond to the letter by Dec. 15, and a commission team will visit the campus in February.

The agency’s letter to interim President Wilma Mishoe said Wilberforce ended the 2013 fiscal year with a $9.7 million deficit, and the projected operating loss for the fiscal year ending June 30 is expected to be more than $700,000.

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