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Dive Brief:

  • Alliance University, a Christian institution in New York City, will cease operations Aug. 31, with student housing closing by the end of July.
  • The nonprofit institution’s board of trustees voted for the closure Thursday, just three days after the Middle States Commission on Higher Education announced it would pull Alliance’s accreditation at the end of December.
  • “This news is a tremendous loss for us who love Alliance University and the people here,” the university said in a statement. “We are all grieving.”

Dive Insight:

In March, MSCHE raised concerns over Alliance’s financial viability and ability to comply with the accreditor’s standards. Leadership at the 140-year-old university, formerly known as Nyack College, indicated last week that the institution would appeal MSCHE’s decision. But Thursday’s news confirms the university was unable to find a path forward.

Students can either graduate this summer or apply to one of Alliance’s dozen institutional teach-out partners. The Christian and Missionary Alliance — the evangelical Protestant organization with which the university is affiliated — is interested in continuing Alliance’s seminary program, though nothing is concrete at this time, the university said.

Alliance said it was “surprised” by MSCHE’s decision, though it has struggled financially for years. An 2022 audit found “substantial doubt” that Alliance could keep operating after a decade of losing money. 

Like many small private institutions, Alliance has struggled with declining enrollment in recent years. The university had 1,863 students in fall 2021, down from 3,318 in fall 2012, according to federal data.

At least eight other New York public and nonprofit colleges have closed since 2016 or plan to close this year.