How Mergers Are Helping to Prevent College Closures
As more colleges are failing to stay open, college mergers have become a beneficial solution to many. There are several factors contributing to college closures, including financial issues, less undergrad enrollment, the falling value of a college degree, and hiring/staffing troubles during the pandemic. Mergers provide colleges that haven’t closed yet a way forward and the ability to continue supporting their students.
Mergers typically require the approval of the schools’ board of trustees and accreditors as well as the support of other stakeholders, such as alumni and faculty. There are several different types of mergers, including online mergers where universities can expand through small institutions that operate online and cross-country mergers that can help colleges expand across the country. Consolidation mergers can help make operations more manageable while decreasing competition for students.
Current trends are showing that same-state schools with less than 5,000 students, small private schools that are less prestigious, and public colleges are the most at risk of closing and would benefit from mergers. Nonetheless, there are some concerns over mergers having a significant impact on the identity and voice of smaller schools as well as the increased struggle for minority students struggling to find their place. College acquisitions and mergers can apso potentially hike up tuition rates.
With the changes caused by the pandemic that still affect colleges today, schools need to adapt better in order to survive, and this just might mean it’s time for a college merger.