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angels&angles 03-03-2015 06:34 PM

Sweet Briar closing
 
Going off the "If they build it..." thread, it was announced today that Sweet Briar College in VA is closing due to "financial challenges." It is (was) an all-girls school, so no GLOs.

Washington Post Article

Judging from social media, it looks like this is the first students, parents, and alums (possibly also staff?) have heard of this, which seems a little sketchy. It's pretty late in the year for transfers, although SBC worked out a reciprocal admissions deal with a few other colleges in the area (including two women's colleges) for transfers and accepted students who had made a deposit. But if a student doesn't want to go to those schools... sounds like she may be SOL.

Sciencewoman 03-03-2015 07:11 PM

I remember getting brochures from Sweet Briar when I was in high school, and being a bit lured in. If I recall correctly, they had an early college admissions program (in lieu of finishing high school) for gifted students.

alum 03-03-2015 07:34 PM

Now who will the boys of Hampden-Sydney date?

So many single-sex schools all over the country have had to fold or to remain viable go coed or seek non-traditional students. Both my mother's both grandmothers', and one grandfather graduated from single-sex schools that are now coed, one relatively recently, the others a couple of decades ago.

FSUZeta 03-03-2015 07:53 PM

Hollins girls?

It is a sad situation that Sweet Briar is closing.

1964Alum 03-03-2015 09:09 PM

Apparently the enrollment at Hollins is up.

The Sweet Briar closing is very sad for me. My family has had a long association with the college. One cousin chose Sweet Briar because she could take her horse to school with her!

honeychile 03-03-2015 09:39 PM

I feel very badly about this. The equestrienne set is probably in mourning.

1964Alum 03-03-2015 09:59 PM

Virginia has long been Horse Country, which continues today. Fortunately, there are other VA colleges with facilities for students' horses as well as equestrian teams and programs. The students in these programs typically do very, very well in other areas of their college experiences. A lot of responsibility comes along with horse ownership.

NinjaPoodle 03-04-2015 02:49 AM

That link doesnt work.
From the school's website
http://www.sbc.edu/news/
"Sweet Briar College Board of Directors Votes to Close College at the Conclusion of the 2014-2015 Academic Year

SWEET BRIAR, VA., March 3, 2015 – On Feb. 28, 2015, the board of directors of Sweet Briar College voted to close the College as a result of insurmountable financial challenges.

“This is a sad day for the entire Sweet Briar College community,” said Paul G. Rice, SBC board chair. “The board closely examined the College’s financial situation and weighed it against our obligations to current and prospective students, parents, faculty and staff, alumnae, donors and friends. We voted to act now to cease academic operations responsibly, allowing us to place students at other academic institutions, to assist faculty and staff with the transition and to conduct a more orderly winding down of academic operations.”

Efforts will begin immediately to help current students transfer to other colleges and universities. Additionally, following spring break, which ends Sunday, March 15, the College will host on-campus college fairs to help match current students with transfer opportunities. The College will offer to students who have been admitted to Sweet Briar for fall 2015 assistance in finding a new academic institution.

The College will be winding down academic operations over the next several months. The Class of 2015 will be the final graduating class, and the commencement ceremony on May 16 will be the last one held on campus. A final on-campus Reunion Weekend will take place May 29-31, 2015. The College will close on Aug. 25, 2015, in order to allow for the completion of summer credit hours.

“While the College has long been part of my life, as my wife is a 1969 graduate, my role as president has taken on more meaning than I could ever describe,” President James F. Jones Jr. said. “The board, some key alumnae and I have worked diligently to find a solution to the challenges Sweet Briar faces. This work led us to the unfortunate conclusion that there are two key realities that we could not change: the declining number of students choosing to attend small, rural, private liberal arts colleges and even fewer young women willing to consider a single-sex education, and the increase in the tuition discount rate that we have to extend to enroll each new class is financially unsustainable.”

In March 2014, the College began a strategic planning initiative to examine opportunities for Sweet Briar to attract and retain a larger number of qualified students and determine if any fundraising possibilities might exist to support these opportunities. Unfortunately, the planning initiative did not yield any viable paths forward because of financial constraints.

Faculty and staff, students, prospective students, parents, alumnae, donors, federal, state and local officials, and other stakeholders were notified of the board’s decision earlier today. Opportunities for informational meetings and conversations will continue throughout the month and through the end of the school year. The College hopes to provide severance and outplacement services to faculty and staff, details of which are still being determined. Academic records for alumnae currently held by the College will ultimately be transferred and maintained by an accredited higher education institution. Until that time, Sweet Briar’s Office of the Registrar will continue to operate and provide that information.

“As we faced this difficult decision, our guiding principle has been to enable the Sweet Briar community members to hold their heads high, knowing the College exited higher education with honor and integrity,” said Elizabeth H.S. Wyatt ’69, vice chair of the board of directors. “If we make the decision to close now, we will have a better opportunity to conclude academic operations in an orderly, compassionate and ethical way that pays homage to those who are here today and to those who came before us.”

More information is available at sbc.edu/transition.

Admitted students and parents who need assistance should call the Office of Admission at (800) 381-6142.

Current students and their parents may contact the Office of the Dean of the Faculty for academic questions at (434) 381-6205 or the Office of Co-Curricular Life for student life questions at (434) 381-6134.

####

Christy Jackson



HUMAN RESOURCES | DIRECTORY | IR | MYSBC.EDU
134 CHAPEL ROAD | SWEET BRIAR, VA 24595
(800) 381-6100 | (434) 381-6100 | INFO@SBC.EDU
Sweet Briar College
Rosam Quae Meruit Ferat
"She who has earned the rose may bear it."
"

MysticCat 03-04-2015 08:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angels&angles (Post 2309255)
It is (was) an all-girls school, so no GLOs.

All-girls doesn't necessarily mean no GLOs, or at least it hasn't historically. Currently, there's still Brenau, Stephens, Bennett and Spellman that are all-female and have sororities. And I know that Queens in Charlotte had sororities for years before going co-ed. I'm pretty sure there were other all-female schools that are now co-ed that did as well.

DeltaBetaBaby 03-04-2015 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1964Alum (Post 2309281)
A lot of responsibility comes along with horse ownership.

And privilege.

sigmadiva 03-04-2015 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DeltaBetaBaby (Post 2309315)
And privilege.

ehhhh....it depends.

It depends on why you own the horse. One of my uncles, and some of my family on my dad's fathers' side have horses. They live in the "country", as we call it, on a family farm.

They have horses not to show as an equestrienne, but to work the land on their farms.

So, owning horses does not always equate to privilege (meaning wealthy) when you depend on those horses for your day-to-day living.

angels&angles 03-04-2015 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MysticCat (Post 2309312)
All-girls doesn't necessarily mean no GLOs, or at least it hasn't historically. Currently, there's still Brenau, Stephens, Bennett and Spellman that are all-female and have sororities. And I know that Queens in Charlotte had sororities for years before going co-ed. I'm pretty sure there were other all-female schools that are now co-ed that did as well.

Interesting. I hadn't realized that. Sweet Briar definitely doesn't have sororities though.

LXA SE285 03-04-2015 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MysticCat (Post 2309312)
All-girls doesn't necessarily mean no GLOs, or at least it hasn't historically. Currently, there's still Brenau, Stephens, Bennett and Spellman that are all-female and have sororities. And I know that Queens in Charlotte had sororities for years before going co-ed. I'm pretty sure there were other all-female schools that are now co-ed that did as well.

Don't forget FSU, formerly Florida State College for Women ...

KSUViolet06 03-04-2015 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angels&angles (Post 2309255)
Going off the "If they build it..." thread, it was announced today that Sweet Briar College in VA is closing due to "financial challenges." It is (was) an all-girls school, so no GLOs.

Washington Post Article

Judging from social media, it looks like this is the first students, parents, and alums (possibly also staff?) have heard of this, which seems a little sketchy. It's pretty late in the year for transfers, although SBC worked out a reciprocal admissions deal with a few other colleges in the area (including two women's colleges) for transfers and accepted students who had made a deposit. But if a student doesn't want to go to those schools... sounds like she may be SOL.

Late pass but I was just looking at some of the FB comments on the college's official announcement.

Examples:

"My daughter turned down near full-ride scholarships from Washington & Lee, Washington University in STL, and MIT to come to Sweet Briar, her first choice. She is now without a school and has student loan debt. I want answers and there had better be some when I arrive."

"I certainly hope you have a plan to refund my daughter's application fee and housing deposit that we recently paid as you will not need it. I'll be in town tomorrow and trust that this issue will be resolved."

YIKES.

I would SO not want to be the person who had to facilitate the conference call, answer the phones, or deal with any of these parents in person re: this issue (although I think most are simply reacting out of concern for their kid's education and the fact that you just heard that her school is closing and you weren't anticipating that.)

1964Alum 03-04-2015 03:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sigmadiva (Post 2309318)
ehhhh....it depends.

It depends on why you own the horse. One of my uncles, and some of my family on my dad's fathers' side have horses. They live in the "country", as we call it, on a family farm.

They have horses not to show as an equestrienne, but to work the land on their farms.

So, owning horses does not always equate to privilege (meaning wealthy) when you depend on those horses for your day-to-day living.

Many, many of the members of an equestrian team do not own their own horses. They lease them or are training them for a more affluent owner. Or they are working students. Additionally, many pay for the board of their mount whether owned by themselves or acquired by other means by mucking out stalls, bringing horses in and turning them out, holding them for the farrier, putting blankets on or taking them off, and many more things that go along with caring for a horse. I have known many young riders and wouldn't call any of them "privileged" or having feelings of entitlement. Many Olympic and Grand Prix riders do not own the horses they show.

sigmadiva 03-04-2015 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1964Alum (Post 2309354)
Many, many of the members of an equestrian team do not loan their own horses. They lease them or are training them for a more affluent owner. Or they are working students. Additionally, many pay for the board of their mount whether owned by themselves or acquired by other means by mucking out stalls, bringing horses in and turning them out, holding them for the farrier, putting blankets on or taking them off, and many more things that go along with caring for a horse. I have known many young riders and wouldn't call any of them "privileged" or having feelings of entitlement. Many Olympic and Grand Prix riders do not own the horses they show.

My response was to DBB's comment "privileged" - which I interpreted her comment meaning that only privileged people own horses for equestrian events.

My response to her was to explain that not everyone who owns a horse does so for the purpose of competition. I was giving her a different view.

1964Alum 03-04-2015 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sigmadiva (Post 2309356)
My response was to DBB's comment "privileged" - which I interpreted her comment meaning that only privileged people own horses for equestrian events.

My response to her was to explain that not everyone who owns a horse does so for the purpose of competition. I was giving her a different view.

Sorry! I understood that but failed to include DBB's quote in my response. But even young people who compete are more often than not not "privileged". That is an unfortunate stereotype.

I am around horses and riders a lot as I still have a horse, an off the track Thoroughbred mare. The riders who more closely fit the stereotype are middle aged women who own $100,000 horses to show that they are far from being able to handle themselves. The trainer will typically ride and warm up the horse before a competitive class and will turn the horse over for the adult amateur to ride only for that class. Most of them never rode as a young person. The typical young rider just loves horses and riding and will put every dime and every spare moment they have into it.

KDCat 03-04-2015 05:09 PM

University of Minnesota - Morris allows students to bring horses to school with them. I had one friend who did that. She worked in high school and spent around $3000 to buy her horse. She paid all of the costs out of her money. She didn't have a car. She was just horse crazy. Her family was solidly middle/middle class, but not wealthy.

1964Alum 03-05-2015 01:17 AM

Sweet Briar has an excellent and highly regarded equestrian program with wonderful facilities. I imagine the quality of equestrian programs at other schools will be a major determining factor for many of the young women when looking at where to go from Sweet Briar, especially those on the equestrian team and/or those seeking certification in training or barn management. Hollins will likely be a choice for many of them as some of the trainers also work there.

We in Virginia are still stunned by this completely unexpected closing!

shirley1929 03-05-2015 07:03 AM

What happens to their $95 million endowment? So, so sad for all my SBC friends!!!

AGDAlum 03-05-2015 07:32 AM

Just learned about this on FB....I should have known that the GreekChat grapevine was faster. (Maybe it's a kudzu vine rather than a grapevine.) My source gave this article: http://m.richmond.com/news/virginia/....html?mode=jqm

Sen's Revenge 03-05-2015 07:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shirley1929 (Post 2309442)
What happens to their $95 million endowment? So, so sad for all my SBC friends!!!

That was the same thought I had. I need to delve further.

MysticCat 03-05-2015 07:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1964Alum (Post 2309354)
I have known many young riders and wouldn't call any of them "privileged" or having feelings of entitlement.

My experience is mainly with girls (and women) who do Western riding, but I concur—I can think of very few I would describe as privileged.

As for Sweet Briar, I'd be interested to know what other options they considered.

SWTXBelle 03-05-2015 10:05 AM

http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_...osing_its.html

" According to the Sweet Briar statement, "In March 2014, the College began a strategic planning initiative to examine opportunities for Sweet Briar to attract and retain a larger number of qualified students and determine if any fundraising possibilities might exist to support these opportunities. Unfortunately, the planning initiative did not yield any viable paths forward because of financial constraints."

shirley1929 03-05-2015 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sen's Revenge (Post 2309445)
That was the same thought I had. I need to delve further.

Report back when you find out.

One thing I heard/read was that one of the detractors from being able to recruit students was the remoteness of the school. They were having a hard time getting internships for the students nearby. And many people wanted more of a town around the school. I don't know much anything about the area around SBC but it sounds like there was nothing there?

But I kept thinking, that school isn't alone, right? Aren't there are 100's of remote colleges and Univs in this country? What's the difference here?

shirley1929 03-05-2015 04:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sen's Revenge (Post 2309445)
That was the same thought I had. I need to delve further.

I found this...sounds like speculation at this point, but it will go to a little debt and then to a different charitable cause or back to the donors. And it was $85 not $95 million...my bad.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/...m-endowment-go

Sen's Revenge 03-05-2015 05:35 PM

I find this all very fascinating.

1964Alum 03-05-2015 06:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shirley1929 (Post 2309476)
Report back when you find out.

One thing I heard/read was that one of the detractors from being able to recruit students was the remoteness of the school. They were having a hard time getting internships for the students nearby. And many people wanted more of a town around the school. I don't know much anything about the area around SBC but it sounds like there was nothing there?

But I kept thinking, that school isn't alone, right? Aren't there are 100's of remote colleges and Univs in this country? What's the difference here?

Sweet Briar is not THAT remote! Lynchburg is very nearby. But with the more recent emphasis of the college in the sciences and engineering, there may not be many intern opportunities in Lynchburg.

A group of alumnae has started a group to raise money to save the college.

alum 03-05-2015 08:43 PM

There are many colleges in rural areas but usually they are in walking distance to a small town. Sweet Briar is not in walking distance to Lynchburg nor is Hampden-Sydney to Farmville. Randolph College (formerly SBC's main cross-applicant competitor R-MWC) is IN Lynchburg and Mary Baldwin is in Staunton.

2015ma 03-06-2015 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KSUViolet06 (Post 2309352)
Late pass but I was just looking at some of the FB comments on the college's official announcement.

Examples:

"My daughter turned down near full-ride scholarships from Washington & Lee, Washington University in STL, and MIT to come to Sweet Briar, her first choice. She is now without a school and has student loan debt. I want answers and there had better be some when I arrive."

I am sorry to learn of Sweet Briar's closing, but I cannot imagine a student choosing to attend Sweet Briar instead of going on a near full-ride scholarship to any of the other schools referenced!

Many of the Virginia women's colleges had GLO's in the past. My husband's late grandmother was a Theta at Randolph-Macon.

33girl 03-06-2015 11:36 AM

Just because something is free doesn't mean it is best for you or will make you happy.

Maman 03-06-2015 11:55 AM

I thought MIT only awards need-based aid and not merit money. So that would be a full-ride grant and not a scholarship.

SWTXBelle 03-06-2015 01:35 PM

Southern Methodist University offers SB students admission help - http://www.smu.edu/Admission/sweetbriar

Cheerio 06-22-2015 08:27 PM

BUMPING QUICKLY TO BUMP SPAM TO BOTTOM: Just heard on the radio that this school will stay open for the 2015-16 academic year.

KDCat 06-22-2015 08:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheerio (Post 2318724)
BUMPING QUICKLY TO BUMP SPAM TO BOTTOM: Just heard on the radio that this school will stay open for the 2015-16 academic year.


They're trying anyway.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/g...-college-open/

Football Fan 10-19-2015 11:35 PM

Closed Colleges
 
While certain colleges have had huge numbers of applicants in recent years some of the smaller religious affiliated or liberal arts institutions have had financial problems and have closed. Corinthian, Chester and Lebanon Colleges have had fairly recent closures in addition to Sweet Briar.

1964Alum 10-20-2015 12:03 AM

The alumnae of Sweetbriar have rallied and the school will remain open for the next academic year!

Never underestimate women with bees in their bonnets :-D!!

Munchkin03 10-20-2015 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Football Fan (Post 2376354)
While certain colleges have had huge numbers of applicants in recent years some of the smaller religious affiliated or liberal arts institutions have had financial problems and have closed. Corinthian, Chester and Lebanon Colleges have had fairly recent closures in addition to Sweet Briar.

Can you really put those schools in the same category as Corinthian?


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