Colleges across the U.S. have resorted to mergers in order to stay open due to many of them failing in the current environment. Factors such as the financial strain created by the COVID-19 pandemic, overall falling enrollment partly caused by the falling value of a college degree in the eyes of the public, and understaffing issues at educational institutions have led to many colleges failing. However, while many colleges close, others opt to merge with other schools through either a local, cross-country, international, or online merger to preserve their legacy and continue supporting students.
Public colleges and universities as well as small private schools that aren’t too prestigious and non-profit schools are looking to be the most at risk of closure and would therefore benefit the most from a merger. Most deals so far have involved same-state schools with less than 5,000 students while about 43% of closing or merging institutions between 2016 and 2021 were Christian-affiliated schools. Nonetheless, many are concerned a merger would mean these schools would lose their unique identity, voice, and support they provide to minority students.
It’s time for colleges to adapt to the times in order to remain open, and this could mean considering a merger.