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Sweet Briar College, a small liberal arts college for women in rural Virginia founded in 1901, surprisingly announced today that it will  close at the end of the school year.  Financial problems and an inadequate endowment were cited as reasons for the stunning news.  "I know this news is upsetting and may be surprising," said school president Jimmy Jones in a video announcement.   According to an official press release, the school's board voted on February 28, 2015, to close the college "as a result of insurmountable financial challenges."  The college said that it would begin immediately to help current students transfer to other colleges and universities. 
More than 500 students are currently enrolled in the school.  The school is located outside Amherst, Virginia, about 70 miles northeast of Roanoke and 60 miles southwest of Charlottesville.
According to a school press release, the college began in March 2014 a strategic planning initiative  that ultimately did not yield "any viable paths because of financial constraints."
In a video announcement about the wind down, a school official said that the process of concluding academic operations would be handled with "integrity and compassion," but that some details were still being worked out.  The current semester is scheduled to be completed as planned, with current students being offered assistance in finding new academic homes, which may involve "teach out" options with selected institutions.  The college said that it "hoped" to provide severance to faculty and staff, but that the details were yet to be determined. 
In concluding remarks in the video message, Sweet Briar President Jimmy Jones said that while "this is without question a special place in one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, the college's true home is within each of us."
If you are a student or faculty member with concerns about the closing of Sweet Briar that you wish to share with the attorneys at College Watchdogs, click here.

 


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