By Katie Peters & Holly Feola – 1851 Staff
On Dec. 14, 2018, Newbury College announced it would be closing at the end of the Spring 2019 semester after suffering from financial problems. The college, located in Brookline, has been open since 1962 and currently has just under 630 enrolled students.
Like many small schools in the Boston area, Newbury has fallen into an economic turmoil. The school was put on probation in early August 2018 by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The institution’s financial situation did not meet the approved standards, putting Newbury in a two-year review period. President Joseph Chillo sent out an email informing students the college’s probation status.
Lasell’s Director of Admissions Yavuz Kiremit previously worked at Newbury for two years, and started his job at Lasell last August. While working as Newbury’s Director of Admissions, Kiremit suspected its struggles came from declining numbers of enrollment and fewer applicants from high school students. “Newbury had gotten a little smaller throughout the years and I think that’s what started the issues and it just got small enough it wasn’t sustainable any longer,” Kiremit said.
Newbury actively looked for a solution to their issue through possible partnerships and continued to do so from the summer until they announced they were closing in December. “Our decision to close comes only after a tireless pursuit of multiple options to remain open,” says Chillo in a statement on the Newbury College website.
The college notified students a semester before the official closure. To help students find other colleges, Newbury is hosting college fairs for their students and organizing ways for students to contact other schools.
According to freshman Elizabeth Smith, the year started with building a small community with the other people on her dorm floor. Since the students have returned from winter break, Smith shared that the attitude on campus is different compared to before.
“Definitely something has changed. A lot of people are sad and shocked about this. All my professors are saying like, ‘oh I’ll be here if you need it’ and they all talk about how long they’ve been working there and it’s so sad to hear…” says Smith.
Similar to what happened when Mount Ida College closed, Lasell has received many
applications from former Newbury students. As of Feb. 15, 151 Newbury students have applied to Lasell. Many majors and academic programs offered at Newbury are also offered at Lasell. Kiremit believes that incoming students from Newbury will help Lasell and thinks “… they are really great kids too, so I think they will be a really good fit for the college.”
When trying to get hold of administrators of Newbury College for information about the closing, public relations and marketing firm Schneider Associates replied saying they would not be answering any questions from the media.
The final graduating class of Newbury College will hold their ceremony on May 12, 2019.