AUGUSTA (AP) – Three Maine colleges have agreed to accept credits from students who attended Mid-State College, which shut down abruptly last Friday after losing its accreditation.

Portland attorney Andrew Cadot, who represents Mid-State, said the college will file for bankruptcy and liquidate its assets. Cadot said he cannot disclose the names of the schools that will accept transferred credits until they sign agreements obliging them to be “liberal in the transfer of credits.”

“A letter will be going out to students by Friday or Tuesday on what colleges will accept their credits,” Cadot said. “It’s going to be at least three. That’s being worked on.”

Mid-State ceased operations at its Augusta and Auburn campuses after its application for accreditation was denied by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, based in Washington. Without accreditation, students were ineligible for federal funds to attend classes there.

And because the school got the vast majority of its revenues from the federal funds, it shut its doors. It had been in operation for 136 years under a number of different names.

Although Cadot wouldn’t reveal which schools would accept Mid-State credits, the University of Maine at Augusta issued a release Wednesday saying it would waive application fees and defer other payments to help former Mid-State students.

Mary Butman, a former student, said she’s trying to transfer her credits to Thomas College in Waterville because it has waived certain fees as well.

Butman said she resented the way Mid-State shut down without any notice and without refunding any money that students had already paid.

“I was mad,” said Butman, who is 43 and works in Augusta’s Office of Vital Records. “I signed up for an associate degree as an administrative assistant. I went in on Aug. 14 and they charged my account for $25. They should have known things weren’t stable, and they shouldn’t be taking nonrefundable deposits.”

Robert Patterson, chief of staff for the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, said Mid-State was sent a letter last week notifying it of the decision to deny the school accreditation. He said the college had more than two months to appeal.

“The appeal window was Oct. 31, 2003,” Patterson said. “The decision to close was wholly the institution’s.”

AP-ES-08-28-03 0216EDT

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