Sep 2019

Viewpoint: The business models for small colleges are on verge of collapse

By Michael B. Horn and Nick Ducoff

In the wake of a string of small college closures and mergers in New England, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the regional accrediting body, are bickering over how to best monitor and manage the financial risks facing colleges.

The public efforts to develop more accurate measures of financial solvency, watch lists and proactive steps to protect students from sudden closures has in turn received predictable public pushback from those connected to small colleges.

But if many of the region’s private, non-profit colleges are on the verge of collapse, students and families should be aware of the risk before they spend their precious time and hard-earned money. The bodies that govern higher education institutions should err on the side of protecting students, not institutions.


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