Sweet Briar College on Oct. 25, 2006 in Sweet Briar, Virginia.
Charles Ommanney—Getty Images
By Jack Linshi
March 4, 2015

Sweet Briar College, a private women’s college in rural Virginia, announced Tuesday it will close in August due to “insurmountable financial challenges.”

The school’s board of directors came to the decision after a year-long study concluded there was no viable way for the women’s college to continue its operations, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. The college’s president, James F. Jones, said the school had been offering tuition discounts to buffer against decreasing enrollment, as interest in single-sex education declines, and as small liberal arts colleges continue to face financial pressures.

According to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, Sweet Briar enrolled 700 women this year, 93 fewer than two years ago.

“The liberal arts college sector is embattled now on so many different fronts,” Jones told the Times-Dispatch. “The diversity of American higher education—the fact that there are so many different schools of all sorts of hues—is really imperiled right now.”

Sweet Briar will provide an on-campus college fair to help students in the transfer process, while also offering assistance to students admitted to Sweet Briar for this fall.

[Richmond Times-Dispatch]

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