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MA Gov. Charlie Baker Trying to Protect Students From Sudden College Closures

MA Gov. Charlie Baker Trying to Protect Students From Sudden College Closures

“would require at-risk schools to submit contingency closure plans to the state”

It’s not surprising that Baker is doing this. Lots of people in Massachusetts were upset about the sudden closure of Mount Ida College.

The Boston Globe reports:

Baker aims to protect students from future college closures

Governor Charlie Baker is proposing new regulations that aim to protect students from the chaos caused earlier this year by the abrupt closure of Mount Ida College.

The governor included language in a larger spending bill that would require at-risk schools to submit contingency closure plans to the state, and also to notify students when they are accepted if a school is at significant risk of closing.

Higher education experts predict an increasing number of small colleges will close in coming years, as the number of high school graduates dwindles. In addition, students are increasingly unable to pay the often high price of tuition at many private schools.

Baker is the latest of numerous state officials to call for more regulatory oversight in the wake of the Mount Ida controversy. Attorney General Maura Healey, the state Board of Higher Education, and a state Senate oversight committee have also made similar proposals.

The Newton college, which specialized in programs in veterinary technology and funeral home management, announced its closure publicly without first notifying state regulators or college accreditors, as required. It is now the subject of an investigation by the attorney general into whether its president and trustees acted in students’ best interest.

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Comments

Hmmmmmmmm. This proposed legislation might have an interesting unintended consequence (which happens with every feel good piece). Think of it like a run on banks. A college is required to notify the state if things are looking down. This then raises a flag, which could cause a few students to look elsewhere, which further decreases the outlook with each update announcement. Lets say there are 9 community type colleges each at around 90% of their target. Those below 90% are required to make an announcement, so suddenly we see a shift of a few students from a college at 85% to one with 92%. The 85% school needs to re-update at 83%, and boing a few more bolt. So while it does appear to be a good idea to make the schools more honest, it could hypothetically also become a tool that prematurely drives a school under based solely on enrollment numbers. Now, just imagine the rumor millentering into the fray. Could Greendale survive this kind of scrutiny?

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