Marian Court College in Swampscott, Massachusetts may have just expanded the four-year school a few years ago, but institution officials are now saying that low enrollment is forcing the college to close its doors.
While many are still hopeful that a donor will make a sizable financial contribution that would allow the school to remain open, they do admit that it would take nothing short of a miracle at this point.
The change will leave 145 students needing to find another way to finish their education. In addition, 5 full-time faculty members, 15 staff members and 12 adjunct teachers will be without jobs.
Marian Court was established in 1964 by the Sisters of Mercy as a secretarial college for women and is currently one of the only four-year universities in the nation attended exclusively by commuting students. The institution is set to close its doors on June 30 of this year.
The unique status allowed the school to keep the tuition at a low cost of $16,500 without having to charge for residential services, writes Brooklyn Lowery for The Swampscott Patch.
"We are so proud of our faculty, administration and staff's commitment and passion for providing quality education to students, 98 percent of whom are first generation in the United States," said President Denise Hammon in a press release. "Many are responsible for the electric or heating bills in their family so they are not working for fun money."
She continued her statement, explaining that 75% of the school's student population are non-white and bilingual, with 98% being first generation and lower-income. Many students attended the school on full Pell grants and state aid, as well as financial aid from the college.
Displaced students will have the option of continuing their education at either Salem State University or North Shore Community College. However, it is not yet known whether all of their credits will transfer.
In a statement, Patricia Meservey, president of Salem State University, wrote, "I have made the commitment to (the Marian Court) president to accept all of their students in good standing. We will work with President Hammon and her staff over the next several days to work out the details of enrolling their students."
The college handed out its first four-year degrees this year at its 50th graduation ceremony to 41 graduates. Prior to 2015 the school was a two-year co-educational college.
While the Sisters of Mercy still own the property, Hammon said she was unsure what would happen to the institution after the college has closed.