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College Closures Damage the Towns They Leave Behind

College Closures Damage the Towns They Leave Behind

“The town came alive every time the students came back, and you can feel the difference”

College closures can affect an entire community. They grapple with lost jobs, lost revenue, and even a loss of identity.

From the Denver Post:

Former college campuses left to adapt to business loss, redevelopment

As colleges and universities come alive this fall, some campuses sit closed and empty after succumbing to a recent wave of fewer students and financial challenges.

Now communities that long hosted those historic institutions and relied on them for an economic boost — and their very identity — are left to adapt to the vacancy and wondering what comes next.

In Poultney, Vermont, population 3,300, Green Mountain College had occupied a prominent spot at the end of the main street for 185 years. That changed in the spring, when the environmentally minded liberal arts school closed after commencement, citing a drop in enrollment and financial challenges.

The closure “literally changed the entire town of Poultney,” said Mel Kingsley, who runs Mel’s Place Hair Salon, several blocks from campus, and got 30% of her business from students.

“The town came alive every time the students came back, and you can feel the difference,” she said.

Besides the day-to-day loss of students and school employees, communities also lose the graduates who stick around.

Sophia Vincenza Milkowski, of New York City, graduated two years ago and stayed in Poultney because she liked it so much.

“We’re still trying to figure out what Poultney even is now without it there,” she said during a break from work at a taco restaurant.

“We’re all feeling its absence,” she said, “whether we were a part of the college or not.”

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Comments

This is no worse than when factory towns are affected when the manufacturing moves off-shore. Ohio is dotted with towns built around single large factories that absorbed all of the newly unneeded farm kids at the turn of the last century. Then in the 70’s and 80’s they started to shut down one by one, driven to their death a bit faster by the overzealous EPA and power-hungry unions. The only difference is that this time the “illuminati” are directly affected and suddenly it is newsworthy.

And this is why the dems have lost Ohio forever. Their role in killing the manufacturing base is well known. It is pretty hard to sell the story that you are protecting the workers from management when the actual outcome is that there is no job anymore. The parasite has killed the host.

Ol' Jim hisself | September 30, 2019 at 1:34 pm

“Sophia Vincenza Milkowski graduated two years ago” and works at a taco restaurant. I wonder how much her “education” cost.

No wonder the school closed, they weren’t teaching anything!

    “Sophia Vincenza Milkowski graduated two years ago” and works at a taco restaurant.”

    Holy crap…I missed that when I read through the post. Good catch. I guess that’s the value of a degree from an “environmentally minded liberal arts school” these days.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Ol' Jim hisself. | October 2, 2019 at 10:51 am

    When you major is South Sea Islands Native Dance Studies, that’s what happens.

The Friendly Grizzly | October 2, 2019 at 10:48 am

Some colleges damage the businesses of their towns. See: Oberlin.

Colleges are dinosaurs.
There is no reason a 4-year degree can’t be earned on-line for $2500 or less a semester.
Stop the rip-off of parents and students alike.

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