August 26, 2019
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Maine students left with questions during spate of New England college closures

Lisa Rathke | AP
Lisa Rathke | AP
This Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, photo shows the campus of Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt. The liberal arts college, which saw enrollment drop 43 percent over the last decade, announced it will close in May, going the way of some other small schools that have struggled to stay afloat.

At the end of this semester, four private liberal arts colleges in New England will close, bringing the total of postsecondary schools to close in the region since 2016 to six.

The spate of closures is leaving Maine students who attended those schools in the lurch, NEWS CENTER Maine reported.

Windham native Tara Carroll told the NBC affiliate students were surprised and “heartbroken” when they learned Green Mountain College in Vermont, where she is a sophomore, will be closing at the end of this school year.

“We honestly had no idea,” she said.

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Carroll told the television station she doesn’t regret choosing to attend Green Mountain College, but now she doesn’t know whether she will take a semester off next fall or accept a so-called teach-out agreement to transfer to another school under “equitable” terms to what she had at Green Mountain.

Among the schools offering teach-out deals to Green Mountain students are two in Maine: Unity College and College of the Atlantic.

In addition to Green Mountain College, Southern Vermont College and College of St. Joseph, also in Vermont, will close after the spring semester. As will Newbury College in Massachusetts.

[Maine colleges offer assistance to students from Vermont college that’s closing]

Those come on top of the closures in recent years of Burlington College in Vermont and Atlantic Union College in Massachusetts.

While the exact number of Maine students affected by the closures is unclear, reported that about 6.3 percent of Green Mountain College’s incoming 2017 class of 111 students came from Maine, as did 1.3 percent of Southern Vermont’s 76 incoming students in 2016 and 4.65 percent of Newbury College’s incoming 172 students in 2017.

Over the full student populations of those schools, that could mean 70 or more Maine students will be affected when they close this spring.

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