First-Year Enrollment Numbers at Sweet Briar College Are Down

In March 2015, the board of trustees at Sweet Briar College, a liberal arts educational institution for women in Virginia, announced that the college would close. But alumnae stepped in and raised $12 million to keep the college open.

At the time the board voted to close the college in 2015, there were 641 full-time undergraduate students at Sweet Briar. By the time the rescue plan was announced, many students had transferred to other schools and there were few entering students. Total enrollments dropped to about 250.

In the fall of 2016, there were 134 women among its first-time, first-year class and 350 full-time undergraduate students. This year, enrollment numbers are disappointing. There are 95 new students on campus this fall. There are 81 first-year women on campus and 14 transfer students. Total enrollments have dropped to about 300 students. The college also reported that it raised $20 million last year.

In a letter to the campus community, Meredith Woo, the college’s new president, stated that “we will grow in size and we will always endeavor to protect our academic integrity as we have done successfully with this incoming class. The College has a multi-year financial plan that is clear-eyed and conservative. Small as we may be — and Sweet Briar has always been a small school — we will continue to provide one of the finest educations obtainable anywhere in the world.”

Filed Under: Women's Colleges


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