Sweet Briar College Announces It Will Close After This Academic Year

sweet-briar-collegeSweet Briar College, a liberal institution for women in Sweet Briar, Virginia, that was founded in 1901 on the grounds of a former plantation, has announced that is closing at the end of the academic year. The latest department of education figures show enrollments of about 700 students.

Paul G. Rice, chair of the board of trustees at Sweet Briar College, said in a statement “the board closely examined the College’s financial situation and weighed it against our obligations to current and prospective students, parents, faculty and staff, alumnae, donors and friends. We voted to act now to cease academic operations responsibly, allowing us to place students at other academic institutions, to assist faculty and staff with the transition and to conduct a more orderly winding down of academic operations.”


Sweet Briar College President James F. Jones Jr. added: “The board, some key alumnae and I have worked diligently to find a solution to the challenges Sweet Briar faces. This work led us to the unfortunate conclusion that there are two key realities that we could not change: the declining number of students choosing to attend small, rural, private liberal arts colleges and even fewer young women willing to consider a single-sex education, and the increase in the tuition discount rate that we have to extend to enroll each new class is financially unsustainable.”

The college said that it would work to find other colleges for current students, including those who had been admitted to the class entering this fall. All employees will lose their jobs but the college may extend severance packages to some or all employees.

Here is a video of college officials discussing the decision.

Filed Under: NewsWomen's Colleges


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