Colleges forced to close as COVID-19 burdens continue

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The coronavirus is bringing an end to decades-old collegiate institutions whose financial struggles were further exacerbated by the global health crisis.

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One of them, Concordia College, announced Thursday that it will be closing its doors in fall 2021.

"This extremely difficult decision is the result of a deliberative, thoughtful and strategic process, informed by immutable business realities," school officials wrote in an announcement to students and faculty.

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However, "set within the context of a changing and broadly challenged higher education sector, the college's financial shortfalls were further accelerated by the global pandemic," officials continued.

Concordia College campus (Concordia College)

The college, which is located just outside of Manhattan since being founded in 1891, will be acquired by Iona College, which will allow Concordia students to finish out their degrees there.

CORONAVIRUS PUSHES COLLEGES TO THE BREAKING POINT, FORCING 'HARD CHOICES' ABOUT EDUCATION

Additionally, Concordia’s Bronxville campus will be sold to Iona.

Over the next few months, both schools will work to provide "numerous communications and assistance" to help with this transition, although details of the agreement are still "being finalized and are subject to regulatory approval," according to school officials.

However, Concordia isn't alone.

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Last March, MacMurray College's board of trustees voted to close the 174-year-old institution at the end of the 2020 spring semester, saying the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic disruption "complicated MacMurray's financial condition."

The board had determined that "MacMurray had no viable financial path forward amid declining enrollments, rising competitive costs and a small endowment," a statement on the school's website read.

Urbana University, which is a branch campus of Franklin University, also announced that it would be shutting its doors permanently. The school, located in Ohio and founded in 1850, said in April that it will "cease enrollments at the end of the 2020 Spring Semester."

Holy Family College, a 136-year-old institution in Wisconsin, also collapsed under the pandemic after taking a "significant" financial hit, according to multiple reports.

HFC will officially close its doors in May, USA Today reported.

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