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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A loss of accreditation could have a serious financial impact on Penn State University.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education says it is reviewing the school’s governance in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

The major consequence of losing accreditation, says Merrill Schwartz, director of research for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, would be the loss of federal aid programs for students.

But she says that while this has been a terrible episode in Penn State’s history, it does not affect the school’s academic standing.

“I think it’s pretty farfetched to think that their accreditation status would be removed.  It’s a wonderful institution with a fabulous academic reputation,” she said today.

Schwartz believes that even if the organization reviewing Penn State’s status were to take action, it would be far short of stripping the school of its accreditation.

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