This New York College Will Close After Nearly 200 Years

Cazenovia College is closing after spring 2023 due to declining attendance and financial woes caused by the pandemic, inflation, and an unstable stock market.
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  • Cazenovia College was established in 1824 as the Genesee Seminary.
  • The school has lost 40% attendance since its peak of 1,000 students.
  • Cazenovia has entered agreements with several New York colleges and universities to transfer students after spring 2023.

Cazenovia College, a small, private college located southeast of Syracuse, New York, will close one year before its 200th anniversary.

The college will operate normally through Spring 2023 and hold graduation as planned, according to the Dec. 7 announcement. Faculty and staff will also assist non-graduating students in transferring to another institution.

"We're deeply disappointed that it has come to this," Ken Gardiner, chair of the Cazenovia College Board of Trustees, said in a statement. "Considerable time and effort have been spent on improving the College's financial position over the past several years. Unfortunately, the headwinds and market conditions were insurmountable, leading to a projected deficit of several million dollars for next year."

Rising inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic led to the decision to close, Cazenovia officials said. The college's enrollment has dropped over 40% since its peak of 1,000 on-campus students.

Cazenovia said the investment in technology and campus safety and the monetary loss from students postponing college or taking leaves of absence created a considerable financial strain on the college. The uncertainty in the stock market also made it difficult for a college with a small endowment to be financially stable.

"We have worked tirelessly to strengthen the financial position of the College through fundraising campaigns, adding graduate offerings, streamlining transfer pathways, and exploring alternative options," stated David Bergh, president of Cazenovia College. "Unfortunately, these efforts did not create results to ensure long-term viability for the College."

The college has finalized several agreements for student transfers for fall 2023 with the following New York colleges and universities:

  • Daemen University
  • Elmira College
  • Excelsior University
  • Hilbert College
  • Keuka College
  • LeMoyne College
  • State University of New York Oneonta
  • Utica University
  • Wells College

Cazenovia has provided a Q&A on their website to answer current students' questions about loans, payments, and transfer institutions.