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The oldest U.S. black college may shut down amid financial troubles

The nation's oldest black college, Cheyney University, may have to stop operating soon, Reuters reports.

The school, one of 14 state-run universities in Pennsylvania, has struggled financially in recent years. Only 1,000 students are enrolled, two-thirds less than its 1989 peak. Cuts in statewide higher education funding hurt Cheyney, a school with a high default rate on student loans and a low four-year graduation rate. As of June 30, 2013, the school's deficit hit a cumulative $12.3 million.

Cheyney officials say they will implement a new policy next year in an effort to improve student retention and graduation rates.

"Cheyney is in dire, dire, dire straits," the state's auditor general told Reuters.