GREENSBORO, N.C. — Bennett College has 15 days until their Feb. 1 deadline. They’ve raised over $1.5 million since Dec. 11 through their campaign to keep the school running. The college needs $5 million.
“The girls are campaigning around Greensboro. We’re going to different churches. We’re collecting donations outside of malls. We’re working hard,” said Alexis Branch, SGA president.
Many of the students at the all women’s college said the looming deadline and the school’s future had them asking a lot of questions at first.
“My parents were even asking me, ‘What are you going to do?'” Branch said.
Regardless of the outcome, seniors graduating in May will be able to walk across the graduation stage.
“I still want to be able to have Bennett around and come back and donate and I want to have a little girl and her go to Bennett,” Serene Baker said.
Reasons like that are why students refuse to accept defeat and continue to keep their spirits high.
“Nobody’s really thinking about if we don’t make it. Everybody is thinking about when we will get there,” Branch said.
The nationwide attention has brought in an influx of prospective students.
“Right now we have over 4,000 students that have applied to come to Bennett College next year,” LaDaniel Gatling said.
Growing their enrollment is the main way to keep the college thriving.
“We know we have to do some things differently and that’s been the big question. What’s going to be different between now and the other times. That’s going to cause for us to re-engineer Bennett and come up with some new programs,” Gatling said.
Although they’re hopeful that they’ll meet their goal, they understand that the work will be far from over.