Newton’s Mount Ida College to close; UMass to acquire 74-acre campus

NEWTON, MASS. (WHDH) - The University of Massachusetts will acquire Newton’s Mount Ida College, which announced that it is closing after more than 100 years due financial struggles.

Mount Ida College says it has reached a definitive agreement in principle with UMass that will “provide a pathway for its students to complete their degree studies and ensure that its campus remains dedicated to an educational mission.”

One student said, “I don’t really know what to think. It came as kind of a shock this afternoon.”

Mount Ida College has about 1,450 undergraduate students.

In an email to students, the college said: The financial pressure on small colleges has never been greater and our limited resources obligate us to consider the long-term future of our community.”

Students in good standing will be offered automatic admission to UMass Dartmouth, with a clear path to degree completion. UMass Dartmouth will also facilitate expedited transfer admission opportunities at the Boston, Lowell and Amherst campuses for students.

“I went to a private school my whole life, that’s one of the reasons why I came here, to enjoy a private education and now it’s been taken away ” said student, Andrew Light.

UMass Amherst will acquire Mount Ida’s 74-acre campus and establish a Greater Boston-based career preparation programs for UMass Amherst students in high-demand fields that serve the Massachusetts innovation economy.

“The challenges for small colleges in the current economic and demographic landscape are significant. Working with UMass, we have devised a way forward that ensures the well-being of our students, enhances the academic capacity of the region, and preserve’s Mount Ida’s legacy and history,” Mount Ida President Barry Brown said.

“It’s pretty upsetting because I don’t know where I’m going to be next year,” said student, Kyleigh Gonet.

The college says it had explored a merger with Lasell College, but discussions ceased when the school boards could not reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

Seniors at the college will graduate at the end of this year. Underclassman students will have to finish their education elsewhere with the school set to close at the end of the semester.

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