Private Colleges Are Closing at an Alarming Rate

And that means some students may never return to school
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2024 5:30 PM CDT
Private Colleges Are Closing at an Alarming Rate
Rising sophomore Cyrus Nasib, 18, sits outside Dorrance Hamilton Hall at the University of the Arts, Friday, June 14, 2024, in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Joe Lamberti)

Katherine Anderson trekked from Texas to Philadelphia last year for a college program she couldn't find anywhere else, combining the music business, entrepreneurship, and technology. Two weeks ago, she received the startling news the University of the Arts would be shutting down within days, leaving her and 1,300 other students scrambling to find somewhere to go or something to do. By the time the school announced its closure, many colleges had already cut off admissions for the fall. Anderson was accepted into the music industry program at nearby Drexel University, which she said wasn't a perfect match, but "the next best thing, I guess." She is now suing the University of the Arts, which had trained musicians, artists, dancers, and designers in Philadelphia for nearly 150 years.

Nationwide, private colleges have been closing at a rate of about two per month, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, the AP reports. The closures in recent years have left tens of thousands of students in limbo—and at increased risk of never finishing their degrees at all. The number of college students in the US had already been steadily decreasing for years before the pandemic led to a sharp drop in enrollment. Schools' financial woes have been complicated further by the botched rollout of a new federal financial aid form, which has raised fears that hundreds of thousands of students will forgo college entirely. And nationally, as many as half of students whose campuses close don't resume their studies. Read more at the AP.

(More colleges and universities stories.)

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