School Closure Notice: Mountain State College Closes Amid Low Enrollment

school closures

College enrollment numbers are down nationwide. And in some places like West Virginia, for instance, the situation is dire.

Mountain State College in Parkersburg, West Virginia is one of the latest schools to throw in the towel. Students attended classes for the last time in mid-March. The college had been serving the community for 136 years prior to its closing.

Mountain State College director Judith Sutton said, “Unfortunately, it was a very heartbreaking decision for us. As a result, due to low enrollments we decided not to begin our spring term.”

A two-year school, Mountain State prided itself on offering flexible associate’s degree programs for working adults and other nontraditional students. It specialized in programs in allied health, including medical assistant training and substance use and addiction counseling education.

The closure comes on the heels of Birmingham Southern College’s decision to cease enrollment last month. The Alabama liberal arts college cited budget concerns for its demise.

Related: Birmingham Southern College Closes Its Doors

Colleges and universities in the U.S. are fighting to stay afloat amidst challenges plaguing higher education. Many prospective students are worried about being able to afford postsecondary education amid rising tuition costs.

Others question whether college is still worth it in today’s economy. Some have called Gen Z the “toolbelt generation” with more students showing interest in the trades. Along with concerns over cost, many would-be university students fear artificial intelligence may steal their jobs before they even have a chance to graduate.

To stay ahead, some colleges have been forced to make big changes, even shifting their recruitment efforts towards working adults and those with children at home.   

Related: Colleges Pivot to Attract Student Parents

Last year, more than two dozen colleges closed their doors permanently.