Connect with us
Apply Now


How Mergers are Keeping College Doors Open

college mergers

95 college mergers have taken place in the past 4 years. That’s 21% more than any prior point in the 21st century. Despite the federal government spending billions to keep colleges afloat during the pandemic, 500 4-year colleges may still close in the near future. When two college institutions agree to merge, it’s a last-ditch attempt at survival.


Why are colleges struggling? The COVID-19 pandemic created a short-term crisis, but it’s not the only force at play. Undergraduate enrollment has fallen by 9.4% since the pandemic began. Up to 40% of prospective college students delayed their college plans due to financial strain or preference for in-person instruction. 


Reasons Behind College Mergers

Some students are foregoing college altogether, reflecting a growing shift in sentiment. From 2013 to 2019, the number of US adults who consider a college degree “very important” fell 19%. College degrees are no longer guarantees of a higher income. Americans are increasingly able to shift into highly-skilled jobs without getting a degree because they completed certification online. In a time when both established universities at fresh start-ups were teaching the same subject material online, many students benefited from the start-ups’ affordability. 


Beyond the students, many college campuses aren’t able to hire enough staff. By now, it’s a familiar story; employees furloughed during the pandemic moved on or retired, leaving colleges unprepared for the return of students to campus. This lack of support staff puts colleges at risk of noncompliance with federal and state rules.


Seeing the writing on the wall, some colleges have elected to join forces rather than fade out of existence. The most common mergers happen with smaller schools located in the same state as one another. For example, Delaware State University announced plans to acquire neighboring Wesley College in 2021. In 2022, Connecticut’s community colleges planned to merge into a single college with a dozen campuses. Consolidation can help streamline operations and reduce competition for students. The most common mergers happen to private non-profit schools with fewer than 5,000 total students. This is because smaller, less prestigious private schools are seeing higher than average declines in enrollment.

In Conclusion

College mergers can save the day in the short run, but they leave behind certain concerns. Smaller schools may offer unique student experiences that are lost during a merger. Students and faculty leaders fear losing their voice when they become part of a larger system. Minority students may lose institutional support as well. Hopefully, this trend will help turn the tide and allow college institutions to thrive ones again.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2022 Disrupt ™ Magazine is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company - Disrupt ™ was founder by Puerto Rican serial entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Delgado who is on a mission to transform Latin America using the power of education and entrepreneurship.

Disrupt ™ Magazine
151 Calle San Francisco
Suite 200
San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00901

Opinions expressed by Disrupt Contributors are their own. Disrupt Magazine invites voices from many diverse walks of life to share their perspectives on our contributor platform. We are big believers in freedom of speech and while we do enforce our community guidelines, we do not actively censor stories on our platform because we want to give our contributors the freedom to express their opinions. Articles are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by our community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Disrupt or its employees.
We are committed to fighting the spread of misinformation online so if you feel an article on our platform goes against our community guidelines or contains false information, we do encourage you to report it. We need your help to fight the spread of misinformation. For more information please visit our Contributor Guidelines available here.

Disrupt ™ is the voice of latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities both here in Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. Disrupt Magazine was designed to give the world a taste of that.