By 2017, the closure rate of small colleges is likely to triple from the rate of the past decade, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service that is available to the service’s subscribers. That will amount to a “small but notable rise” in the number of institutions that will shut their doors or merge, according to the report.
The service cites patterns of limited revenue growth and declining enrollment, particularly among the smallest of private colleges.
The closure rate of small colleges was relatively low during the past decade, the report notes, with roughly five institutions closing per year. The number of mergers averaged two to three in that period, and that rate will more than double by 2017, according to the report.