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Declining Enrollment Forces Marygrove College to Announce Closure

Michigan-based Marygrove College is closing due to financial troubles and declining student enrollment, the college announced last week.

The college, which began operating in 1905 and was sponsored by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM), will permanently close in December at the end of the fall 2019 semester.

Officials have already informed all 305 current members of the student body, who are currently enrolled in graduate degree and professional development programs in Education, Human Resource Management and Social Justice, about the decision.

The college has also entered into a teach-out agreement with Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, which is pending approval by the Higher Learning Commission, to ensure that its students who are within one year of degree completion can do so through a teach-out partner school.

“Though the Board’s decision to close the College permanently was the most difficult in its history, we are proud that our legacy of education and activism in the city of Detroit will endure and is already bearing fruit with the start of the new Detroit public high school, ‘The School at Marygrove,’ beginning in September and the forthcoming groundbreaking for the new early childhood education center on the Marygrove campus,” Dr. John Cavanaugh, chairperson of the Marygrove Board of Trustees, said.

In 2017, the college’s Corporate Board ended all of the school’s undergraduate programs and continued graduate programs under the belief that the campus would bounce back to a sound financial position with improved enrollment numbers.

“Marygrove’s grand experiment to transition to graduate-only studies was a brave and bold attempt to continue to serve students,” President Dr. Elizabeth Burns said in a statement. “However, intensive marketing and recruitment efforts have failed to attract enough students. Coupled with a heavy debt burden, the low enrollment numbers provide insufficient revenue to continue operations into the future.”

Many colleges and universities across the nation have either closed or are currently on the verge of closure due to a steep decline in enrollments and weak finances. Last year, Mount Ida College closed its Newton campus due to similar circumstances.

On Friday, Western Illinois University’s president Jack Thomas announced his resignation after he couldn’t improve its enrollment numbers and struggled to place the campus on sound financial footing.

Hellenic College President Steps Down Amid Financial Crisis

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