A small private college in Vermont that was?once led by the wife of Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is due to shut down later in the month because of “crushing debt” that happened during her presidency.
Burlington College, which enrolled?a total of 224 students by fall 2014, said hello had been under financial pressure as a result of the purchase of 32 acres of lakefront property this year from the Diocese of Burlington. ?As the property has since been sold through the college in order to get treatments for its debt issues, the college was put on probation in 2014 by its accrediting agency, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and it is now coping with cash flow problems because of a loss of their credit line, writes Nick Anderson for The Washington Post. ?Schools have to be accredited in order to receive federal financial aid funding.
Alexander Holt, a policy analyst at New America, said many smaller private colleges depend on tuition money and educational funding in order to remain open because of having minimal endowments. ?Many of these schools create growth plans in order to bring in more students, however, many times those plans do not work. ?Holt went on to state that Burlington’s plan have been “reckless,” which focused more on the school’s reputation of computer did around the future of its current students.
\”These private colleges that don\’t have a tremendous reputation but they are going to charge high tuition to be able to fulfill this grand ambition, we expect this stuff to happen,\” Holt said.
The purchase was?made during the presidency of Jane Sanders, wife of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. ?When asked if Sanders was to blame for that current state of the school in a news conference on Monday, Burlington College President Carole Moore said she was not able to comment.
The Sanders campaign has not responded to requests designed for comment.
The purchase was originally made in an effort to increase enrollment at the school by enticing prospective students as well as alumni donations, reports Zach Despart for The Burlington Free Press.
Robert Kelchen, a professor at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., said it is a common practice for schools to update school buildings or dorms and recreation centers so that they can attract new students. Kelchen studies advanced schooling finance.
\”Burlington operated for a long time with hardly any overhead and then they bought a campus essentially,\” said Kelchen. \”They took a large risk to try and increase enrollment and it did not repay.\”
Government data suggests the college was also struggling getting its students on good financial footing, with only 24% of first-time, full-time students graduating within six years. ?Additionally, those who received educational funding were found to earn typically $28,900 within 10 years of completing the amount, reports Jillian Berman for MarketWatch.
Students who are still enrolled at the school will be able to transfer to nearby schools to accomplish their programs.