UPDATE: After 103 years of academia, The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York will be closing. The board of trustees voted on the afternoon of Thursday, November 30th to shut down the school following graduation of the 2023-2024 school year on May 11th, 2024.

The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY is my alma mater, and it's a shame to see the direction that the college is going in. I greatly enjoyed my time at the school in the Music Industry department; however, I fear that it may not be around very long for new generations of students to experience.

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YouTube/ College of Saint Rose
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The College of Saint Rose is a private liberal arts college in Albany, New York, which was founded in 1920 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. The College once enrolled 4,000 students; however, for the 22-23 school year, it had 2,800 students. The College's top undergraduate programs included their Criminal Justice Behavior and Law program, Social Work program, Communications program, Psychology program, and Childhood Ed/Special Ed. program.

Billboard also recognized Saint Rose as having one of the top Music Industry programs in North America.

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YouTube/ College of Saint Rose
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In December of 2015, The College of Saint Rose cut about a dozen programs, resulting in the elimination of 23 faculty positions. Five years later, in December of 2020, as part of a multi-year financial plan for the College’s long-term financial sustainability, the Saint Rose Board of Trustees has approved a plan to reduce academic expenses by $5.97 million, including the closure of 16 unique bachelor’s degrees, six unique master’s degrees, and three certificate programs.

College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York Requests Emergency Funding

The College of Saint Rose has reached out to the state and other entities for emergency funding to help pay its bills as it deals with a shrinking student body and their growing debt. State officials say that a bailout is unlikely, and in any case, wouldn't be available for months.

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State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, chair of the chamber's Higher Education Committee, has confirmed that college officials have asked her and others for a bailout as it faces a multi-million dollar deficit and plummeting enrollment.

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YouTube/ College of Saint Rose
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In addition to requests of direct financial aid, discussions about merging some of Saint Rose's programs with those of other area colleges and universities. Times Union has reported that the college has grappled with shaky finances for years as its enrollment steadily dropped. In 2020, its accreditor began requiring the college to provide proof of “improved financial viability” every year.

In June, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education said the college’s accreditation was in jeopardy because of its fiscal situation. Saint Rose was given six months to make improvements and a Jan. 16, 2024, deadline to show that it had enough money to continue operating.

The College of Saint Rose Tries to Sell Properties to Pay Debt

The College of Saint Rose receives 80% of its funding from students and had a $17 million deficit in the previous school year, and drew heavily from its endowment to pay its bills. Saint Rose has spent millions over the years to acquire properties near the Madison and Western Avenue areas.

This year, they have tried to sell 8 of their 90 properties, yet only three have been purchased so far. It refinanced its debt in 2021, saving $700,000 a year in interest. As of last month, the college owed $48.1 million in bonds.

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YouTube/ College of Saint Rose
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If the college closes, 87 properties would become vacant, mostly in the Pine Hills neighborhood. There, the college had purchased almost every building along one block bordered by Madison and Western Avenues and Partridge Street. While there are some large school buildings, many of the properties are one- to three-family houses.

What Happens to Students Should Saint Rose Close?

Diplomas are still valid if a college or university loses accreditation but students can face problems including difficulty transferring credits, and the possible loss of financial aid and scholarships.

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