What happens when a community college is shut down?
- by admin
A community college in Wisconsin shut down its doors on Saturday after its enrollment fell below the threshold for a state-imposed closure, leaving some students to walk away with less than $30,000 in tuition.
The closure, announced in a letter by the college’s board of trustees on Friday, came after the board voted unanimously to suspend the school’s operating license for the first time in decades.
The Wisconsin Community College System is the largest in the state and has the largest number of community colleges in the country.
The school has a combined enrollment of about 2,000 students.
The move comes after the school had been in the red for years and was at risk of closing under a state budget that slashed funding for many other public institutions.
The school was forced to turn over some $2.3 million in funds it had been able to collect under a previous agreement.
That funding was expected to help close the deficit in the school, but now the state’s funding has been cut in half, leaving many students without a place to live.
The board of the community college system said in the letter to parents and students that it had to cut more than $1 million in operating costs because of budget cuts and other factors, including a decline in enrollment.
That leaves the community colleges to cover their own operating costs, the letter said.
The college’s student body was about 2.5 times larger than it was in 2009.
The college board also said that the closure is expected to affect about 1,000 current students.
“As the board has said, we are a family-run business that depends on our students for their education, and this closure is devastating to our students and their families,” board president Mike Ritsema said in a statement.
“We must do all we can to help these students stay in school, and we are working to do so in every way we can.”
The board has been struggling to come up with additional funds to keep the school open, and it has faced challenges securing federal funding for the operation of the college.
The community college board has previously threatened to close the school in the event it cannot find enough federal dollars to maintain its current level of enrollment, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
A community college in Wisconsin shut down its doors on Saturday after its enrollment fell below the threshold for a…