Small NY colleges fighting negative trends

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– The College of Saint Rose will be closing next year, just days after announcing it needed financial aid from the city and county of Albany and New York State. The school says a decline in enrollment because of the pandemic and fewer high school graduates.

“We’re fighting a few negative trends, a population loss, a demographic downturn in this cohort of students,” explained Assemblymember Pat Fahy, Higher Education Committee Chair. “COVID, where students did too much online learning and now they want to do that for college as well.”

Saint Rose isn’t the only private school that recently has had to make this decision. According to the New York State Education Department, since 2016, 10 schools have closed. That includes Buffalo’s Medaille University in August and back in June, Cazenovia College— which now serves as a site for the New York State Police Auxiliary Academy.

“It’s not just a Cazenovia and Medialle, and a couple of others,” said Fahy. “We also saw a recent cuts at Potsdam. Enrollment is a challenge in a number of public and private schools, especially the small ones.”

Fahy wants to raise tuition assistance for low and middle income families to make higher education more affordable.

According to the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities— in 2021, independent colleges and universities enrolled 43% of the 1.1 million students going to college in New York. SUNY accounted for 32% and CUNY 22 %

A spokesperson for Governor Hochul released a statement about Saint Rose saying “…She has directed her Administration to assist students in every way possible to ensure they are able to complete their degrees at other institutions and we will continue working with local stakeholders on a smooth transition.”

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