Due to financial difficulties, a small West Virginia university will close, leaving many students scrambling for alternatives as the new academic year approaches.
The board of trustees at Alderson Broaddus University, a private Baptist university in Philippi, West Virginia, voted to terminate the institution on Monday, according to a statement released by Cary Walters, the institution’s director of marketing and communications.
“As you might imagine, we are currently focused on providing accurate information to our students, faculty, and staff regarding the next steps and what they can expect in the coming days and weeks,” Walters said.
The decision comes after the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, the governing body for universities in the state, voted to revoke Alderson Broaddus University’s ability to confer degrees in an emergency meeting on Monday to address the “rapidly deteriorating financial condition” of the school.
In a statement, the Higher Education Policy Commission said, “The Commission took this action after receiving and confirming information that Alderson Broaddus University’s financial condition prevents it from providing a stable, effective, and safe learning environment for its students.”
Alderson Broaddus struggled financially for years, as evidenced by his tax filings. In 2022, the university’s liabilities exceeded $39 million. The university reported a net loss of $904,424 in 2020.
The commission’s decision would have taken effect on December 31, but Alderson Broaddus would have been prohibited from enrolling new students in the autumn of 2023.
West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education, Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, stated that the commission’s “top priority is to help (Alderson Broaddus) students continue their education seamlessly.”
“We have been working with other colleges and universities in the state, and we are grateful to have institutions that are eager to help these students transfer and complete their degrees,” Tucker said in the commission’s statement. “The Commission considers its duty to authorize private institutions to operate in West Virginia very seriously. The legislature has entrusted us with the duty of protecting students, and we are carrying it out.
Other universities offer support
Several colleges and universities in the state have expressed willingness to assist Alderson Broaddus students with credit transfer.
“We will provide these students with expedited, complimentary, and comprehensive transcript evaluations. West Virginia Wesleyan College said in a statement that accepted students will receive guaranteed housing placement, robust financial aid opportunities, and comprehensive student support.
Fairmont State University stated that it has established a scholarship for Alderson Broaddus students.
“Fairmont State has established the Battler Transfer Scholarship to assist Alderson Broaddus transfer students with their transition and degree completion,” the school said. Fairmont State will provisionally admit all incoming first-year students who can provide a copy of their acceptance letter from AB.
Additionally, the university stated that it will prioritize applications from Alderson Broaddus students and work with them to “maximize the transfer of courses and keep them on track with their personal degree plans.”
I will arrive where I am destined.
Some student-athletes who were recruited to Alderson Broaddus are scrambling to find their next opportunity due to the abrupt closure. Many have utilized social media to connect with recruiters.
Justin Kearney, a rising junior on the sprint football team at Alderson Broaddus,that his teammates on Snapchat informed him of the school’s closure.
“Honestly, it stings, but things occur. “Alderson Broaddus will always hold a special place in my heart for all the friends, good memories, and sports trips,” Kearney said. “It’s been difficult. One moment I’m working and going about my normal day, and the next I’m tweeting that I’m searching for a new place to call home. It’s still so unbelievable.”
Jalin Quintanilla, a freshman on the football team, told CNN that the team was scheduled to begin fall camp preparations on Friday, but the coach verified the closure after weeks of rumors. This week, he stated, “it hasn’t been easy.”
But I believe everything occurs for a reason, and I’ll end up where I’m supposed to be,” Quintanilla said.
The governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, also expressed regret over the school’s closure.
“I abhor hearing about Alderson Broaddus because it holds a unique place in Philippi. On Monday, Justice tweeted: “My thoughts are with the students, faculty, and alumni of this institution during this difficult time.”
According to the university’s website, Alderson-Broaddus College was established in 1932 when two elder Baptist liberal arts colleges merged. The institution attained university status in 2013 and changed its name to Alderson Broaddus University.