VCU lends a hand to the ladies of Sweet Briar

Austin Walker
Staff Writer

To soften the blow on the students of Sweet Briar College who found out earlier this week about the school’s closing, VCU has urged displaced Sweet Briar students to apply as transfer students to VCU.

Students at Sweet Briar were caught completely off guard after it was announced to them in a speech by president James F. Jones that the school would be closing at the end of the Spring 2015 semester.

The board’s unanimous vote to close is because of the college’s website is calling “insurmountable financial challenges.”

The 700-student, all-female college was founded in 1901. After a century of peaceful serenity next to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the school found itself unable to overcome the challenges which plagued it and forced the shutdown. This was mainly, but wasn’t limited to, the lack of enrollment in the college and a lack of state funding due to the schools private status.

the increase in the tuition discount rate that we have to extend to enroll each new class is financially unsustainable.

In 2007, the board considered moving to a co-educational system, involving both women and men. President Jones say that that’s a hope that’s long gone.

He said in an earlier interview that the only thing which would keep Sweet Briar College from closing at the end of this semester was “$250 million dollars into the permanent endowment tomorrow morning.”

In the chilling announcement video, President Jones said “our immediate focus is helping our students transfer to other colleges and universities, and to support our faculty and staff through the process of closing our college.”

He claims that the nature of colleges has changed, and there’s no more appeal for small, liberal-arts schools with pastoral settings and limited academic programs.

Sybil Halloran, associate vice provost for the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management, said that “VCU will extend its transfer application deadline and work individually with Sweet Briar students.”

VCU’s recommended deadline for application into the university was January 15th. All applicants at this point will be admitted in a first-come-first-serve basis. Interested students of Sweet Briar College are encourage to visit the admissions office, or email ugrad@vcu.edu for more information.

 

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