Small private colleges across New York are struggling. The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, is the most-recent to announce it will close next year.
The closure comes shortly after the college sought financial aid from the city and county of Albany, as well as New York State. According to officials there, the pandemic’s impact and a decline in high school graduates brought the institution to this point.
Assemblymember Pat Fahy, chair of the Higher Education Committee, attributed these challenges to a combination of factors, including population loss, a demographic downturn in the student cohort, and a shift towards online learning preferences post-COVID.
Earlier this year there was the closure of Cazenovia College. While the future of that site has been temporarily repurposed – the broader question remains: What happens to these communities and higher education as small, private institutions shut down?
Officials at the state level contend enrollment is an issue at public and private colleges.
Electeds like Fahy are advocating for increased tuition assistance for low and middle-income families to enhance the affordability of higher education.
The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities reports that in 2021, independent colleges and universities accounted for 43% of the 1.1 million college students in New York, with SUNY and CUNY enrolling 32% and 22%, respectively.
FingerLakes1.com is the region’s leading all-digital news publication. The company was founded in 1998 and has been keeping residents informed for more than two decades. Have a lead? Send it to [email protected].