By The Associated Press

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — One of the two remaining historically black private women’s colleges in the United States is suing to keep its doors open after losing its appeal to have its accreditation restored.

Bennett College filed a federal lawsuit Friday, the same day the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges announced it would uphold its decision to revoke the North Carolina school’s accreditation.

Bennett College (Photo/The Associated Press Guide to Photojournalism via YouTube)

Bennett president Phyllis Worthy Dawkins tells news outlets a federal judge in Atlanta granted a temporary restraining order, preserving Bennett’s accreditation while the court case continues.

Dawkins says her team was “devastated” with the appeal’s outcome, having raised $9.5 million to prove Bennett could survive financially. That’s nearly twice their fundraising goal.

Bennett has also applied for accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.