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Sweet Briar College to Use Endowment to Ease Closure

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Mar 2015 12:39 PM

Sweet Briar College, a women's liberal arts school in Virginia, will close its doors for good at the conclusion of the semester and use its $94 million endowment to help students and employees during the transition.

"Insurmountable financial challenges" were cited in a press release from the school near Lynchburg.

Inside Higher Ed reported that Sweet Briar's closing is indicative of a larger national trend. Women-only colleges and small, rural liberal arts colleges have both seen fewer applications in recent years, and are also facing increased competition from more affordable community colleges in the wake of the recession.

Similar colleges in Virginia and across the nation have met the new environment with an adapt-or-die mentality, but often see strong pushback from professors and other stakeholders who don't want to see long-held principles compromised.

"Mary Baldwin College has embarked on a plan to preserve its identity as a residential undergraduate liberal arts college by creating new colleges of education and health professions," Slate wrote in its own report.

"Randolph-Macon Woman's College, meanwhile, renamed itself Randolph College and in 2007 started enrolling men."

Administrators at Sweet Briar said that they are working to funnel its continuing students with four nearby colleges, Randolph College, in Lynchburg; Hollins University, in Roanoke; Mary Baldwin College, in Staunton; and Lynchburg College, in Lynchburg.



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Sweet Briar College, a women's liberal arts school in Virginia, will close its doors for good at the conclusion of the semester and use its $94 million endowment to help students and employees during the transition.
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2015-39-04
Wednesday, 04 Mar 2015 12:39 PM
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