The graduation of nearly 200 students over the weekend marked the end of Ashford University's campus in Clinton, Iowa.
Ashford, a for-profit higher-education institution, offers primarily online courses, but about 1 percent of the 42,000 students enrolled in Ashford courses attended the physical campus in Clinton.
The Clinton Herald reports that the campus began operations in 1918 as Mount St. Clare College. It was acquired in 2005 by Bridgepoint Education, a for-profit education company, and renamed Ashford University. In the 11 years of operation as Ashford University, about 1,200 students had graduated from the Clinton campus.
Ashford announced last July that the Clinton campus would close because it had been unable to attract enough students to make up for a "significant and ongoing enrollment shortfall."
Mount St. Clare College began as a two-year community college; in 1979, it began offering baccalaureate degrees. In 2002, the school was renamed The Franciscan University.
After becoming Ashford University, the school acquired a motel in 2010 and converted it to a residence hall to accommodate increasing enrollment.
Despite closing its only physical campus, Ashford says its online offerings will continue as before. "Online students account for nearly 99 percent of Ashford’s total student population, and the university intends to continue serving non-traditional students who want the flexibility offered by online education," the school says.