In an article for Inside Higher Ed, Kellie Woodhouse addresses a new Moody’s Investor Service report that predicts closure rates for small colleges and universities will triple in the coming years and that mergers will double.
Woodhouse summarizes the data from the Moody’s report, which cites declining enrollment as a main cause of the challenges facing many American small colleges. As these tuition dependent schools lose more and more students to larger institutions, Woodhouse explains, a growing number of small colleges have begun experiencing revenue troubles. This has led an increasing number of small colleges to close their doors or consider mergers just to stay afloat.
There is still reason to be hopeful, however. As Richard Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges explains, “These small, private institutions have this unbelievable ability to be imaginative. Their ability to be proactive is better than [that of] larger, more cumbersome institutions.”