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Title:Why More And More Colleges Are Closing Down Across America

The mid-2010's saw an uptick in U.S. college closures—particularly in the private nonprofit space. Since 2016, 91 U.S. private colleges have either closed, merged with another school, or announced plans to close according to a CNBC analysis of data from Higher Ed Dive. This trend is affecting tens of thousands of college students across the country, with almost half of those schools closing after the onset of the pandemic in 2020. For many struggling schools the pandemic was the final straw—but two major themes showed up consistently throughout the closures: finances and enrollment. "There are two significant issues affecting higher education right now," said The Princeton Review's Editor-in-Chief Robert Franek. "Specifically, through the admission and enrollment offices. Number one, it is the admission cliff, and that is the impending decline. We'll be graduating our lowest high school classes by population in 2025. And most enrollment professionals have been wringing their hands about this date of 2025, but many schools have seen those enrollment declines already." About 95% of U.S. colleges rely on tuition, according to Franek, meaning they rely on money from students to operate. Dwindling enrollment numbers mean less money, fewer student offerings, and eventually a shuttered institution. "It's a reflection of, I think, an unsustainable operating platform, meaning a heavy reliance on tuition, which can't always keep up with inflation," said Fitch Ratings Senior Director Emily Wadhwani. "It can't always keep up with erosion in enrollment. We can't keep hiking tuition sticker price in the hopes that the net residual once you account for scholarship and discounting and the like is gonna be enough to sort of offset your growing expense base." Chapters: 00:00 — Introduction 01:42 — The enrollment cliff 05:17 — Colleges on the brink 11:30 — What's next? Correction: A previous version of this video misspelled the last name of Melinda Huspen, a student at The King's College. Produced by: Devan Burris Edited by: Evan Miller Narrated by: Jordan Smith Graphics by: Mallory Brangan and Alex Wood Supervising Producer,: Jeff Morganteen » Subscribe to CNBC: » Subscribe to CNBC TV: About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: Follow CNBC News on Facebook: Follow CNBC News on Twitter: Follow CNBC News on Instagram: #CNBC Why More And More Colleges Are Closing Down Across America


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