Struggling College Calls It Quits

Alumni of Vermont's Goddard College include William H. Macy, most of Phish
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 10, 2024 2:00 PM CDT
Updated Apr 13, 2024 8:59 AM CDT
Struggling College Calls It Quits
Goddard College's Greatwood campus.   (Wikipedia/Progressive Ed)

Vermont's Goddard College, a small school known for its progressive education, is closing after years of declining enrollment and financial struggles, the board of trustees announced Tuesday. The decision to close at the end of the semester was heart-wrenching but unavoidable as the school faces financial insolvency, the board said in a statement Tuesday. Goddard currently has 220 students, compared with more than 1,900 in the early 1970s, the board said. The school was created in 1938, with predecessor institutions dating back to 1863.

"The closure of Goddard College is a significant loss for students in search of an alternative, progressive higher education," board chair Mark Jones said. "The decision to close Goddard College was not made easily or quickly. With declining enrollment and financial insolvency looming, the Board was left with no other option. Our hearts are broken." Boards and administrations have tried for decades to find ways to keep Goddard sustainable, but it couldn't beat the inflationary pressures, demographic changes, and shifts in educational preferences that it and other colleges have faced, the board said. Schools have grappled with a shift toward more career-oriented training and a decline in the number of college-age students, the AP reports.

Goddard alumni include actor William H. Macy, jailed activist Mumia Abu-Jamal—the 2014 commencement speaker—and playwright David Mamet, among many other authors and poets. Bloomberg reports that alumni also include three of the four members of the rock band Phish, which played many of its early shows at the college. Goddard students will have the chance to continue their education at the same tuition rate through Prescott College in Arizona, the board said. (Last month, a 168-year-old college in Alabama announced that it would close at the end of May.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.