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Rest in Peace: College Closings

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Replies to: Rest in Peace: College Closings

  • MinnesotaDadof3MinnesotaDadof3 353 replies21 threads Member
    For a fascinating look (with photos) at the histories of 250 closed U.S. colleges, see the web-based 'America's Lost Colleges, Profiles of 250 Closed or Merged Colleges' by retired Mayville State University (N.D.) English Professor Paul Batesel. It is a real gem.
    http://www.lostcolleges.com/

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  • eclptseclpts 30 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Bennington is in no danger of closing. Its enrollment is at an all-time high, and its financial situation has improved dramatically along with (how to put this nicely) the actuarial situation of its early alumnae (the school started in the 1930s and went coed in 1970).
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  • Sam-I-AmSam-I-Am 587 replies22 threads Member
    edited February 2017
    @eclpts, thanks for that information. I would suggest that future posts include links to articles to support any statement that a particular school may be closing or may be struggling financially. I suspect there are lots of such schools out there, particularly among less-known law schools. But please don't label any school as "troubled" unless you can support the statement with a link. Otherwise this thread runs the risk of starting unfounded rumors. :)]
    edited February 2017
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  • Snowball CitySnowball City 1724 replies51 threads Senior Member
    Bennington's endowment is up to a whopping $18 million dollars (up from $14 million a few years ago) aka peanuts. I know people with more money than that!

    They remain extremely dependent on tuition. Only 10% of students have financial need fully met. They hand out "merit" awards to at least 50% of the undergraduates. http://www.collegedata.com/cs/data/college/college_pg03_tmpl.jhtml?schoolId=128

    I found the 2016 Forbes college financial health ratings and it received a C . I am having trouble getting the link to post but it is easy to google.

    I don't think it is on the edge of collapse like it was a few years ago but it is not out of the woods.
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  • MinnesotaDadof3MinnesotaDadof3 353 replies21 threads Member
    @SnowballCity: Here is the link to the 2016 Forbes college financial health ratings:http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=http://www.forbes.com/sites/schifrin/2016/07/06/forbes-2016-financial-grades-is-your-college-financially-fit/&refURL=&referrer=#73aaee707309

    Note that the St. Joseph's College in Indiana that plans to close June 1 was rated a 'C' by Forbes. That makes lots of private colleges look seriously at risk, especially if interest rates and inflation heats up.




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  • BestfriendsgirlBestfriendsgirl 931 replies4 threads Member
    @MinnesotaDadof3 - This is fascinating! Thanks for the link.
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  • hebegebehebegebe 2686 replies38 threads Senior Member
    Bennington is akin to a sick patient that had a near death experience. While they are improving, they are only one minor setback away from closing.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23249 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Sweet Briar has an A on this report. Somehow I don't think that a school that was on the brink of closing two years ago, lost half its students, is suddenly financially secure.

    The schools may not report their money exactly the way Forbes thinks is best. I notice all the Concordias have C's and yet I don't think they are all about to fail. Many of the catholic and other religious schools have C's. Maybe they just find it better to handle their accounting in a different way?
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  • Snowball CitySnowball City 1724 replies51 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2017
    I read yesterday in a article that I can't find today that Sweet Briar was able to get some of the restricted endowment unrestricted. Their endowment restrictions were discussed on CC in depth back when all this was happening.

    SB might be able to fully rise form the dead. Note how much more money they have versus Bennington
    http://www.roanoke.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-sweet-briar-s-comeback-continues/article_bb6cab5b-27cb-560e-a901-32d1457b492b.html
    "...The old board had been spending down the school’s endowment at alarming rates and decided to close the school before the money simply ran out. Since Stone and the new board took over, Sweet Briar hasn’t spent any of the endowment. Not one penny. The fund stands at a very respectable $70 million, which ranks it bigger than many small colleges nearby – bigger than Ferrum College, bigger than Mary Baldwin University. The conclusion seems inescapable: Sweet Briar was never really in trouble; it was just badly managed. That’s been fixed.

    One reason the old board was spending down the endowment was that it wasn’t raising enough money, or recruiting enough students. Many feared that the initial burst of alumnae enthusiasm during the fight to take over the school would fade. It hasn’t. Under the old board, the school was raising less than $1 million a year. In the last fiscal year, the school raised $28 million. Stone – who spends three to four days a week on the road meeting alumnae – says he’s on track to meet this year’s goal of $20 million. Next year, the goal drops to $16 million – as, presumably, the number of students increases. Why such success? A lot of alumnae simply hadn’t been asked to give. Now they are. “I went to see five women I’d never met and asked each to give a million dollars, and they did,” Stone says. With such prodigious fund-raising Sweet Briar has also been able to pay down nearly half of the debt it had run up.

    Increasing enrollment will take longer. Sweet Briar reopened with 248 students. This year, enrollment is up to 376. The goal is to get to 800, which will obviously take years to achieve. One thing holding the numbers down is that the incoming class for fall 2015 had been turned away. About 30 students came anyway once the school stayed open, so there’s now an undersized sophomore class moving through the system. By contrast, the school brought in 175 new students for the current school year, and deposits for next year are running ahead of schedule..."
    edited February 2017
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  • MinnesotaDadof3MinnesotaDadof3 353 replies21 threads Member
    Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, Ala., is on the verge of closing. See link to the April 17, 2017, Wall Street Journal article about the 570-student historically-black college.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/stillman-college-faces-uncertain-future-as-education-department-debts-linger-1492344000
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  • MinnesotaDadof3MinnesotaDadof3 353 replies21 threads Member
    Marygrove College, Detroit, Mich., will drop all of its undergraduate degree programs as of winter semester 2018, due to declining enrollment. See the following Detroit Free Press newspaper article link: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2017/08/09/marygrove-college-undergraduate-programs/551948001/
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  • ConsolationConsolation 22875 replies184 threads Senior Member
    Totally an aside, but from the list of closed New England colleges, best law school name ever: Portia School of Law. :)
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  • exlibris97exlibris97 1032 replies7 threads Senior Member
    @Snowball City I wouldn't worry about Bennington. While they don't meet full need, they attract a huge number of students from wealthy families and are very popular with the East Coast Prep Schools. Indeed, when I worked in admissions I visited a number of prep schools where fewer than 15% of the students applied for financial aid. Places like Bennington target these schools. The cohort of "monied" applicants is huge. (Indeed, look at Princeton and Harvard. They have very generous financial aid policies but upwards of 60% of their students are full-pay.)
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23249 replies17 threads Senior Member
    My mother's aunt went to the Portia School of Law. When it merged she was offered a diploma from, I think, Sussex. She never practiced law, but I was always impressed that she went in the 1920's.
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  • MinnesotaDadof3MinnesotaDadof3 353 replies21 threads Member
    edited August 2017
    The 08/11/17 Wall Street Journal article "Seminaries Struggle to Maintain Their Roles" notes that Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass., is closing, this summer has laid off all faculty and is putting up for sale its campus. It will affiliate with Union Theological Seminary (NYC) "But the school's faculty and students aren't invited to join."

    Also noted is that the U.S.'s first seminary graduate school, 210-year-old Andover-Newton Theological sold its campus in July and is moving to the Yale Divinity School.

    Claremont School of Theology (Calif.) hopes to sell its southern California campus and move somewhere less expensive. [Fargo, anyone?]

    "Mainline Protestant seminaries are facing an existential crisis after a decade of mounting red ink. Enrollment has fallen by nearly 25% over the past decade, according to the Association of Theological Schools, an accrediting agency," reports the WSJ.
    edited August 2017
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  • MinnesotaDadof3MinnesotaDadof3 353 replies21 threads Member
    The for-profit Charlotte (N.C.) School of Law has closed. See the following The Chronicle of Higher Education article:

    http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/troubled-charlotte-school-of-law-will-close-its-doors-reports-say/119675?cid=wcontentlist
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  • MinnesotaDadof3MinnesotaDadof3 353 replies21 threads Member
    Wheelock College (Boston, Mass.) appears to be in trouble, and it is in discussions to "merge" with Boston University. See the following articles:

    Chronicle of Higher Education: http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/boston-u-and-wheelock-college-explore-potential-merger/119887?cid=wcontentlist_hp_latest

    Boston Herald Aug. 30, 2017: http://www.bostonherald.com/business/business_markets/2017/08/wheelock_weighs_bu_bailout

    Boston Globe, June15,2015: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/06/15/wheelock-college-faces-myriad-challenges-report-says/EirQp5Gxx9XCFHKFO8Lz6L/story.html

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  • MinnesotaDadof3MinnesotaDadof3 353 replies21 threads Member
    A Chinese institution bids for defunct Daniel Webster College (N.H.) campus. See the following "Inside Higher Ed" Article:

    https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2017/10/27/hong-kong-university-bids-buy-new-hampshire-campus


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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78587 replies695 threads Senior Member
    DWC, originally an aviation focused college, has been in financial trouble for a while. It had to sell itself to for-profit ITT. Then it and ITT later went bankrupt. Non-profit SNHU acquired DWC's operations and some of its campus.
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  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1274 replies2 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    I'll never forget my big brother, 1982, all set to attend Eisenhower College on Cayuga Lake, NY to play baseball. Opening the mail on a beautiful late July day (a month before move in!!) to find the college was acquired by RIT and would be closing immediately!!! He ended up going to RIT for a year, loved it, and had to transfer out at the end of freshman year because they would only honor the Eisenhower financials for a year.
    edited October 2017
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