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Wed Feb 13, 2019, 03:16 PM

States look to boost oversight of struggling small colleges

Source: Associated Press

States look to boost oversight of struggling small colleges

By LISA RATHKE and COLLIN BINKLEY
February 13, 2019

POULTNEY, Vt. (AP) — After 185 years of educating students on its campus of brick buildings on Poultney’s main street, Green Mountain College announced last month it would close after this academic year, leaving hundreds of students scrambling to figure out where to go next.

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To help protect students, state officials in the region have been looking into increasing their oversight of private, independent colleges. The plans have met resistance from college leaders, who worry financial woes could be publicized before they are at serious risk of closing.

In Massachusetts, where at least 17 colleges have closed or merged over the past six years, state education officials are moving forward with a plan to screen colleges every year and gauge their risk of closing. If the state concludes a school might not finish the next academic year, it would be required to notify students and prepare a plan to help them transfer elsewhere.

The state moved to intervene after the abrupt shutdown of Mount Ida College, which announced last April it would be closing just weeks later. The news blindsided students.

In Vermont, officials took notice when Burlington College folded in 2016 under the weight of debt from a real estate deal, leaving student records behind. ...

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Read more: https://apnews.com/6ce54578d4684ba48fcb3896c755ba22

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