8 Colleges That Completely Shut Down in 2024

Schools mired in financial hardship and declining enrollment have decided to close their doors for good.
Updated June 6, 2024
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College enrollment has held steady in recent years, with around 16 million full-time or part-time students in school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

However, some schools are struggling badly, and have either closed down or plan to soon.

Studies show that college graduates earn extra income compared to folks who don’t earn degrees. But if you plan to enroll in college, you will have to eliminate the following schools from your list of candidates.

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University of St. Katherine — San Marcos, California

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The University of St. Katherine in San Marcos, California, recently announced it would be closing its doors indefinitely in May.

The president and founder of the school also announced in April that the institution would be filing for bankruptcy due to “a steep shortfall in operating cash.”

Wells College — Aurora, New York

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Wells College in Aurora, New York, announced in April that it would shut down at the end of its current semester.

The school — which has been teaching students for more than 150 years — blamed the closure on a lack of financial resources due to declining student enrollment and issues related to inflation, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other factors.

The College of St. Rose — Albany, New York

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The College of St. Rose in Albany, New York, announced late last year that the spring 2024 semester would be its last.

The college emphasized declining enrollment as one factor for the decision. The school’s enrollment is half of what it was in 2010. St. Rose also notes that the pool of high school graduates is shrinking fast in New York and throughout the Northeast.

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Birmingham-Southern College — Birmingham, Alabama

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Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama announced earlier this year that it would be closing its doors for good.

The school was facing financial issues and was unsuccessful in its efforts to secure additional funding, forcing the closure. It will cease operations on May 31.

St. John's University — Staten Island, New York

StockPhotoPro/Adobe student searching books

St. John’s University closed its Staten Island campus in April after more than 50 years at that location.

Students who are enrolled in the school can transfer to the college’s campus in Queens. The university has also created a scholarship fund to help Staten Island students with the transition.

Hodges University — Fort Myers, Florida

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Hodges University in Fort Myers announced last year that it would close its doors for good in August 2024.

The private, nonprofit school founded in 1990 cited declining student enrollment and financial issues for the closure.

Lincoln Christian University — Lincoln, Illinois

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Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, Illinois, announced last year that it would shut down at the end of the 2023-24 academic year in May.

The school had restricted degrees to only ministry offerings and dropped its athletics programs, but that didn’t solve its financial issues.

Lincoln Christian University also suffered from declining enrollment. It had 537 students enrolled in school in 2021, compared to almost 1,000 students a decade earlier.

Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts — Warner, New Hampshire

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Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts will shut down at the end of the academic year in 2024.

The school, which has around 60 students, cited declining enrollment as the reason for closing its doors.

Why are schools closing

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The COVID-19 pandemic had a serious impact on college education enrollment, particularly for smaller colleges. Many schools were unable to bounce back once the pandemic faded.

Declining birth rates also suggest future enrollment won’t be much better. Funding was also an issue for many struggling schools.

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What’s next for schools?

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Colleges and universities expect to see a continuing decline in college enrollment as birth rates fall. That fact will affect struggling schools.

Many students planning to enroll in college look for more established and selective institutions instead of smaller schools.

Students are also choosing alternatives to colleges, such as trade schools, or not enrolling in any educational programs after high school.

Bottom line

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If you plan to enroll in college, the schools on this list will not be an option for you. All have closed or plan to do so soon. So, you will have to look for another school.

As you look over your options, remember to save money in a high-yield savings account or another vehicle that will give you good returns. That way, you will have more cash to earmark for college once you finally enroll.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.