The ins and outs of closing a college

Dive Brief:

  • Inside Higher Ed profiles the closure of Virginia Intermont College, a private institution which shuttered its doors in 2016 after years of declining enrollment and mounting debts.
  • The school, and others in similar situations, often face challenging steps to close out the institution. The selling and storage of property, transfer of endowment assets and student records are just some of the issues that confront presidents and trustees in the months following a closure decision, along with settling financials with employees and vendors.
  • Schools like Dowling College face even greater challenges. With more than $70 million in total debts to more than 600 creditors, bankruptcy laws may prohibit certain closure actions.  

Dive Insight:

While several colleges have closed in recent years under financial pressure, schools which have not yet reached a point of dissolution have to consider tough decisions to avoid liquidation. Schools with fewer than 1,000 students are typically the institutions most vulnerable for closure and should consider alternative methods of academic delivery, such as online classes, to create immediate enrollment gains.

Additionally, smaller liberal arts schools should work towards articulation agreements with high schools and community colleges, in addition to mixed-use space leasing or sales, in order to address the most pressing of budget crises.

Filed Under: Higher Ed
Top image credit: Dave Sizer