Nothing Lasts Forever

This week it was Sweet Briar College. She’s dead, Jim. Or at least she is in hospice care.

We are probably bad people, but as a group, an anonymous group, we think the various reactions across the spectrum are amusing. They range from, “You’re all going to die!” to “I’m not dead yet. I think I am getting better.” to “We are sad for Sweet Briar, but we are thriving and we’ll take you poor dears as transfers.”

So we are going to sit and snark. Eventually we will post a list of the next 100 small liberal arts colleges to close. We may even include dates. Just to give you a sneak preview we, say this:

They all suck.

Actually, they are probably pretty nice places, but they have low graduation rates, little to no money, lots of debt, and they have a hard time convincing even small numbers of students to enroll. After all, Sweet Briar could not even reliably find 200 clueless, wealthy young women each year to come ride horses and play school. They had to buy the students they did get with steep discounts called “scholarships.” It’s not much of merit-based scholarship if a student has  2.93 HS GPA and receives a $7000 “merit award.”  Sweet Briar is not alone in this as the “everybody gets a trophy” meme is key to contemporary enrollment management, only in this case, the trophy is money.

Unless the merit in question is the ability to fog a mirror.

The announcement that Sweet Briar College, a private women’s college in rural Virginia, ……/small-u-s-colleges-battle-deaths

Bloomberg L.P.

Apr 14, 2014 – Dowling College President Norman is known in higher education as a turnaround specialist, having revived the once flagging Wagner College, …

Small Midwest colleges are facing a demographic death spiral…/small-midwest-colleges-are-facing-a-demographic-deathspiral

May 9, 2014 – A report this week from credit rating agency Moody’s provides an early reminder that certain US colleges, some with very long histories, might …

Some Small Private Colleges Are Facing a Death Spiral ……

Viterbo University

Virginia’s Sweet Briar College, facing a “financially unsustainable” future, announced this week that it would be closing.The closure of Sweet Briar College is an …

“Let the death spiral whirl”: Slate celebrates the destruction ……/let-the-deathspiral-whirl-slate-celebrates-the-destr…

Apr 18, 2014 – Slate offers an intriguing article on the impending demise of small, privatecolleges, and why we should all celebrate this. It is an instructive …

You visited this page on 3/5/15.

Small US Colleges Battle Death Spiral as Enrollment Drops…/small-u-s-colle

Lumina Foundation

At a Dowling College campus on Long Island’s south shore, a fleet of unused shuttle buses sits in an otherwise empty parking lot. A dormitory is shuttered, as are …

Inklings: The Higher Education Death Spiral…/…

Mar 16, 2014 – In short, the Death Spiral is caused by two facts. … Both of these are very good things, and each of them is an excellent reason to go to college.

Struggling to Stay Afloat | The John William Pope Center for …

Jun 4, 2014 – Many colleges and universities face a difficult and uncertain financial future. … “What we’re concerned about is the death spiral—this continuing …

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