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Marygrove College in Detroit to Close in December

Marygrove College in Detroit to Close in December

“Enrollment at the college has been on a downward trajectory for years”

Another small school is falling. There’s more of this to come in the near future.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

Marygrove Doesn’t Make It

Marygrove College will shut down at the end of the upcoming fall semester after the small Roman Catholic institution in Detroit was unable to escape from enrollment and financial pressures by dropping undergraduate education.

College leaders announced closure plans Wednesday, less than two years after saying in August 2017 that they would try to keep Marygrove open by cutting undergraduate offerings and focusing on graduate and professional education. Marygrove eliminated undergraduate programming at the end of the fall 2017 semester, meaning it will have operated in its current form for two years when it ends operations.

Enrollment at the college has been on a downward trajectory for years, even aside from the planned loss of undergraduates. It reported a peak combined enrollment of 1,850 graduate and undergraduate students in 2013. By the fall of 2017, it enrolled 285 undergraduates and 427 graduate students. On Wednesday, it counted just 305 students.

The enrollment funnel looked bleak. Only two new students were signed up for the fall semester, said Elizabeth Burns, Marygrove’s president. About 30 new students were on board for this summer.

In contrast, the college likely needed to boost enrollment to close to 700 students to be on a sustainable path.

Estimates showed an advertising budget of about $2 million could have moved the needle, Burns said. But Marygrove didn’t have $2 million.

“You deal with all of these problems, and you try to keep going and do the things that you think are going to work,” Burns said. “It wasn’t realistic. That’s what the board saw.”


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I don’t know. Dropping undergraduate schooling in favor of graduate school seems to me like exactly the opposite of the right course, but what do I know? I’m not bankrupt.

kenoshamarge | June 22, 2019 at 10:02 am

Where are the big-buck Catholic/Conservatives to help out this small college? Or are they Catholic/Conservatives in name only.

You know if this was a small progressive college the lefties would be lining up to keep it open.

Charles N. Steele | June 23, 2019 at 11:10 am

Marygrove has a degree program in “Social Justice,” a Muslim prayer room, made its facilities available for LGBT programs… Why would a Catholic or conservative donate $0.02 to it? We should all be pleased to see it go.