Burdened by the "crushing weight of debt," Burlington College in Burlington, Vt., will close later this month, the school has announced.
The Burlington Free Press reports that financial strain and academic probation created by an expansion onto a new campus on prime waterfront land led to the school's demise.
"This is a great loss to the higher-ed community,” President Carol A. Moore said at a news conference on the college campus.
About 30 faculty and staff will lose their jobs. The school plans to cease operations by May 27.
Founded in 1972 as an informal gathering of students, Burlington College grew into a small, regionally accredited liberal arts college.
The college blamed debt from the 2010 land deal as a primary reason for the school's closure. Under then-president Jane Sanders—wife of U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders—Burlington purchased 32 acres from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington for about $10 million.
The diocese sold the property—including its 77,000-square-foot headquarters building—to help pay costs from priest-abuse litigation.
Burlington College has been on probation since 2014 for having insufficient financial resources. The college's accrediting agency, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, likely will decide against re-accrediting the school, Burlington officials said.
About 70 Burlington College students will be able to finish their degrees at nearby institutions. Only 30 students had committed to attending the college in the 2016-17 academic year.