Report & webinar: Best practices for closing and merging schools

November 12, 2020
  • Recordkeeping Compliance
  • Records and Academic Services
  • Transfer and Articulation
  • college closures
  • Work groups
photo of large empty classroom with chairs upside down on rows of desks

Over the past five years more than 1,200 institutions of higher education have closed, displacing nearly half a million students, according to a 2019 analysis of federal data by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The current and anticipated increase in closings due to declining enrollments and decreasing budgets is expected to result in a growing number of students left with incomplete educations, as well as questions about their academic plans and personal finances. At the same time, more higher education leaders have been looking at mergers as a means to ensure institutional viability and financial security.

As institutions face rapid changes in student demographics, technology, communications, funding, enrollment decline and other factors, leaders are increasingly considering mergers as a means to ensure institutional viability and financial security. Mergers can take many shapes and forms, including partial (involving select programs or divisions) to total mergers in which one institution is absorbed into another, or a new institution emerges from two or more that cease to exist under their former academic structure. Some experts estimate that as many as 30 percent of American higher-education institutions could potentially merge. The COVID-19 pandemic had an additional impact on the number of campuses considering such a move.

Join members of the Closed and Merged School Work Group on Wednesday, November 18 at 1:00 PM (EST) as they discuss their recently released report, which provides school officials with best practice approaches that will ensure the preservation of records of closed or merged institutions and identifies topics to consider to make sure that current and former students continue to have access to their education records and do not suffer undue burden and stress as a result of the closure or merger. Learn more and register here.