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New England College woos students from closed Mt. Ida College in Mass.

  • New England College in Henniker, Dec. 15,2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz



Monitor staff
Thursday, April 12, 2018

New England College has set up a streamlined admissions process, including automatic acceptance, for students of Mount Ida College in Massachusetts, which will shut at the end of this academic year.

The Henniker college said current Mount Ida students, as well as those already admitted for the upcoming fall term, can receive automatic acceptance with no application fee, including “transfer of all their academic credits” and “degree completion in the same amount of time as would have been the case at Mount Ida for the same or similar majors.”

At least one Massachusetts liberal arts college, Curry College in Milton, Mass., has made a similar offer. And earlier this week Keene State College said Mount Ida students could get an on-the-spot decision about transferring if they visited the school this weekend.

The 118-year-old Mount Ida College in Newton, Mass., which has about 1,500 students, announced last week that it would be shutting due to financial problems of the sort that many small, private colleges are facing. It will become part of UMass-Amherst. It had previously tried to merge with another struggling small school, Lasell College.

Many colleges who lack large endowments to support operations and thus are very dependent on year-to-year tuition incomes are facing hard financial times. That’s particularly true in the Northeast, where the number of graduating high school seniors is stagnant or declining.

NEC said Mount Ida students “will be offered financial aid that results in the same net cost of tuition, fees, room and board as at Mount Ida, renewable each year until graduation.”

(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313 or dbrooks@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @GraniteGeek.)