663163b26162a40008734e9e Wells College

Wells College in Aurora, New York, announces closure

April 30, 2024
Leaders at the college say it does not have the financial resources to continue.

Wells College in Aurora, New York, is closing at the end of the semester, college officials have announced.

"As trustees, we have a fiduciary responsibility to the institution," read a statement from board chair Marie Chapman Carroll and university president Jonathan Gibralter. "We have determined after a thorough review that the College does not have adequate financial resources to continue."

College leaders say financial challenges have been exacerbated by a global pandemic, a shrinking pool of undergraduate students nationwide, inflationary pressures, and an overall negative sentiment toward higher education.

Members of the board...have spent years trying to find creative solutions to raise revenues in hopes of avoiding closure," the statement from the board continued. "We acknowledge the work from all board members and college leaders....Your efforts are appreciated more than you know. But revenues, unfortunately, are not projected to be sufficient for Wells’ long-term financial stability."

Wells College has entered into an agreement with Manhattanville University to be a preferred teach-out partner.

"This partnership further will help ensure that Wells’ current students matriculate and our institutional mission and legacy continue," the statement read.

Manhattanville is developing dedicated housing for Wells students and will be partners in supporting our students with transfer plans. 

Wells College also has developed teach-out agreements with Excelsior University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Keuka College, Le Moyne College, Mercy University, SUNY Brockport.

The Albany Times-Union reports that Wells was founded in 1868 as a women’s college. The original goal was “to educate women who would further society’s intellectual culture as wives and mothers,” according to the college’s published history.

In 2004, it began admitting all genders.

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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