Did you know that undergrad enrollment has dropped nearly 10% since the pandemic? That equals nearly 1.5 million students who have not enrolled in college compared to previous years. Many students chose to delay their college education due to financial strains or a preference to wait and attend classes in-person. Smaller colleges are feeling the strain more than larger universities, with small two year colleges experiencing a 16% decline in enrollment.
To keep their doors open while handling enrollment declines and financial strains, some small colleges are merging with larger institutions. Some mergers are local, where small colleges are absorbed by neighboring larger universities, but some mergers can even be cross-country or international. Merging can help small colleges from having to close, but there are still some concerns.
One of the main concerns with merging universities is the increase in tuition. Students are already concerned about tuition costs, and merging schools can lead to a 5-7% increase in total tuition and fees. Small colleges are also at risk of losing their identity as they are absorbed into a larger institution with more students already attending. Overall, mergers can be helpful to avoid losing educational institutions in the country, but there are still some risks that must be assessed. Learn more about the benefits and risk of college mergers in the infographic below: