In what has been a pretty stressful few months for colleges and universities globally, recent news from another New York based college once again has people concerned.

A Cayuga County college has announced that they will shutter immediately upon the conclusion of the 2024 semester.

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READ MORE: NYS 2025 Budget Funds for Higher Education

Upstate NY College Announces Closure

News began circulating on Monday April 29, 2024, from Wells College, located in Aurora, NY in Cayuga County, that the college would soon close their doors for good.

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A letter from the Board Chair and President starts with the following sad sentiments:

This is a difficult letter to write and an even more difficult letter to read and process. It is with profound sadness that we announce the forthcoming closure of our beloved Wells College at the end of this academic semester.

Citing financial reasons for the impending closure, the college determined that they 'do not have the financial resources to continue,' noting the challenges that many similarly sized colleges have also encountered recently.

These challenges have been exacerbated by a global pandemic, a shrinking pool of undergraduate students nationwide, inflationary pressures, and an overall negative sentiment towards higher education.

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The full letter to the college community, along with the 'closing plan' can be read here.

Much like other institutions who have been impacted similarly, and announced closures, Wells has announced that Manhattanville University will serve as their 'preferred teach-out partner' and ensure that current students can continue to pursue higher education through matriculated study.

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Manhattanville has committed to developing housing dedicated for Wells students, and 'expressed interest in developing a legacy agreement that would integrate the Wells College name and history into the Manhattanville community.'

Additional teach-out partnerships have been developed with Excelsior University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Keuka College, Le Moyne College, Mercy University, as well as SUNY Brockport.

SEE ALSO: This Hudson Valley College Announced Transfer Partnership To College of St. Rose Students Following Closure

Wells College History

Similar to The College of St. Rose in Albany, who announced their closure last fall, Wells College had a long history in New York State, 156 years as compared to St. Rose's 103. Opening their doors in 1868, Wells is on the smaller side with just under 10,000 alumni to date, but brands themselves as 'small in size but big on opportunity.' With a student to faculty ratio of 15:1, and an average class size of 12, students received a lot of personalized attention.

The campus sits on 300 acres that overlooks Cayuga Lake, and the buildings are not only beautiful to look at, but rich in history.

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Wells College
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It was reported that Wells was placed on probation by an accrediting agency in 2019, citing concerns over 'adequate financial and human resources,' and the probation was lifted in 2021 after finances showed signs of improvement.

Additional information about the closure, and FAQs about next steps for students, staff, and supporters can be found here.

Upstate NY Bids Farewell to 3 Small Colleges: Wells, Saint Rose, and Cazenovia. Why?

Over the last 12 months the Upstate New York region has said a sad farewell to three small colleges: Wells College) Aurora), College of Saint Rose (Albany), and Cazenovia College (Cazenovia). Why did they close and what will happen to these campuses? This gallery gives a biographical sketch of each of these three colleges. All of them have been around for more a very long time: College of Saint Rose (125 years, Wells College 156 years, and Cazenovia College 200 years!).and their leaving will have a significant impact on their longtime host communities.

And each deserves to be remembered......

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

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