Mount Ida College, with a student body of around 1,450 students, will be closing at the end of the semester and the University of Massachusetts Amherst will be acquiring the 74-acre campus. This decision has come after some financial struggle for the liberal arts school, including a considered merger with fellow Newton area college Lasell College that didn’t work out. All of the current students of Mount Ida College who are in good standing with the school will be given automatic acceptance into UMass Dartmouth, a guaranteed transfer of all of their credits, and are told that they won’t have to pay more than $13,600 a year in tuition.
UMass Dartmouth has also said that they will try and place former Mount Ida students in classes together and that they will try and keep roommates together if they choose to use campus housing. They also are working on plans for students who were pursuing degrees in veterinary tech, mortuary science and dental hygiene at Mount Ida College, as UMass Dartmouth does not offer those programs normally.
Despite these accommodations for current students, there still comes a lot of complications with a university or college shutting its doors. All 280 faculty and staff of Mount Ida College will be losing their jobs with this closure, and students who were already accepted into Mount Ida College for the 2018-2019 academic year now have to quickly find a new school to attend. And though current students will be able to finish their degrees at UMass Dartmouth, the transition from a small liberal arts college to a larger state school can be incredibly difficult.
There has been a recent wave of small liberal arts colleges closing due to funding or other problems. This academic year alone, multiple colleges have decided to shut their doors, including St. Gregory’s University in Oklahoma, Memphis College of Art in Tennessee, Grace University in Nebraska, and Santa Fe College of Art and Design in New Mexico, amongst others. Some colleges, on the other hand, have chosen to merge with larger schools, like Wheelock College which will be merging with Boston University this summer.
Furthermore, some small colleges have avoided shutdown due to alumnae support, as was the case of Sweet Briar College in the spring of 2015. The college located in Virginia announced it would be shutting its doors at the end of the semester, but donations kept it open, as $28.5 million was raised for the school. The college is still open today, with no signs of closing in the near future. Not all liberal arts colleges are as lucky, however, as the future of these schools in our country remains uncertain.
Mount Ida College is working to make the transition for their current students easier and has a webpage dedicated to the process.
I am apart of the LAST EVER graduating class of Mount Ida College. Wild.
— mad magz (@fleetwoodmag) April 6, 2018
i’m so totally screwed like i don’t have a college next year bc mount ida is shutting down, all of my scholarships say that i’m going to mount ida next year, and i don’t know where i’m going to college so that’s great awesome
— Alexis (@noodlealexis) April 6, 2018