INCREASING TREND: Multiple Colleges announce school closures, others shutter their Athletics Departments

Story: Adam Nelson (@HD_DirtKing)

The increasing trend of small colleges closing and athletic departments shutting down is continuing in full force this spring. Here’s a recap of what’s taken place over just the past few weeks:

Schools closing:

  • Notre Dame College (OH) – NCAA D2 (Mountain East Conference)
  • Fontbonne University (MO) – NCAA D3 (SLIAC)

On life support (scroll down for full recap):

  • D3 Northland College (WI) – NCAA D3 (UMAC)

Athletics Departments shutting down:

  • Northern Virginia Community College – NJCAA D2 (Region 20)
  • Mountain Gateway Community College – NJCAA D3 (Region 10)

Notre Dame College (OH)NCAA D2 (Mountain East Conference)

Notre Dame announced that they will shut down at the end of the spring 2024 semester. According to the college, declining enrollment, a shrinking pool of college-aged students, rising costs and significant
debt led to the closure. The full closing statement is HERE.

Fontbonne University (MO) – NCAA D3 (SLIAC)

Fontbonne will close at the end of the summer 2025. According to the release, “After many years of declining enrollments and a shrinking endowment, the financial position of the university was determined to be unsustainable for the long term. The university will not admit a fall 2024 class.” The school will offer athletics through the 2024-25 season according to a statement from AD Danielle Doerfler.

D3 Northland College (WI) – NCAA D3 (WIAC)

Not closed yet, but definitely on life support. The college released the following statement / fundraising appeal:

Northland College has announced an urgent fundraising appeal to raise $12 million dollars by April 3 to avoid closure and reimagine its future.

A comprehensive review by the Board of Trustees and College Leadership confirmed the College does not have sufficient resources to continue current programs and operations beyond this academic year. Its operating model—which has evolved many times in the 132 years since its founding—is no longer sustainable.

Northern Virginia Community College – NJCAA D2 (Region 20)

NOVA sent an email to their student body on 2/29 announcing their intention to leave the NJCAA and discontinue intercollegiate athletics. Apparently they weren’t messing around – they’ve already pulled the plug on their athletics website

Mountain Gateway Community College – NJCAA D3 (Region 10)

This is hot off the presses – happened last night: