Goddard College
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Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, is closing

April 9, 2024
Officials say the school has been unable to overcome decades of enrollment decline.

Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, has announced that it will close at the end of the semester.

The Rutland Herald reports that the school’s board of trustees cited decades of declining enrollment as a factor forcing the school to shut down.

"With declining enrollment and financial insolvency looming, the board was left with no other option," said Mark Jones, chair of the Goddard board. "Our hearts are broken.”

The liberal arts school known for its low-residency model had announced in January that it was transitioning to online only courses in the fall. At the time, the move was said to be temporary at the time.

"For decades, boards and administrations have worked to find ways to put Goddard College on a sustainable economic path," the college said in a news release. "Despite trying many different approaches including partnerships, Goddard College could not beat the trends of inflationary pressures, demographic shifts and changing educational preferences. The closure of Goddard College mirrors a trend seen in numerous higher education institutions across Vermont and the nation, all grappling with similar challenges."

Goddard now serves 220 students, down from over 1,900 students in the early 1970s.

Those enrolled at Goddard will be able to continue their education through a partnership with Prescott College in Arizona. The release stated students will be able to complete their degrees at the same tuition rate they were paying at Goddard.

Prescott also says it will work to find opportunities to bring in faculty from Goddard. 

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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