Saint Joseph College, located in Rensselaer, Indiana, announced earlier this month that the institution would be suspending all operations at the end of the spring semester due to financial hardships. The college decided to cease activity after evaluating its financial standings and resources.
On Friday, Feb. 4, the college released a statement saying the following:
“After significant introspection and countless hours of discussion among key administrators, the college has come to the solemn realization that its prior plans to grow out of the current financial challenges cannot be realized. The financial challenges are too steep in light of the current and potential resources available. As a result, the board has concluded that the college cannot continue in its current form and needs to change the very fabric of the institution. This change must occur immediately to preserve our remaining resources to prepare for a launch of a future, re-engineered, Saint Joseph’s College.”
As a result, Goshen College, a sister college to the closing Saint Joseph, has made a statement offering for students currently enrolled there to complete their degrees at Goshen.
“It is heartbreaking to see a sister college in Indiana in this unfortunate situation,” said President Brenneman. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Saint Joseph’s students, staff, alumni and families in this difficult season.”
Saint Joseph, a Roman Catholic affiliated institution, is a school with numbers comparable to Goshen College, with a student body of about 900 students and around 200 others employed there.
Brenneman added, “As a fellow private, religious, liberal arts college with a similar mission and commitment to faith and service, we want to help the affected students complete their academic studies and graduate on time. Goshen College will strive to provide a seamless transfer experience for any Saint Joseph’s students who wish to complete their degree here at GC and make this their new home.”
Goshen College has been in communication with Saint Joseph and has made several necessary adjustments to accommodate new transfer students.
For starters, Goshen has ensured those who have completed 90 or more hours at Saint Joseph who want a degree from their original college will be presented a SJC diploma upon graduation. This decision is pending approval by the Higher Learning Commission.
Goshen is also offering a transfer scholarship of $2,500 just for transferring. They are also offering academic scholarships of up to $10,000 for those who qualify. For students to qualify, they must have at least 24 college credits already, while their grade point average is based on their previous year.
Coaches of the athletic teams at GC are also opening up their teams for possible spots for SJC athletes.
“Goshen College was represented at the first of three college fairs at St. Joseph’s College last week as a way to connect with prospective students,” said provost Ken Newbold. “Representatives from admissions, financial aid and the registrar attended the event and spoke directly with students interested in GC.”
Newbold echoed what President Brenneman stated in Goshen College’s official statement.
“Our core values, commitment to social justice and tradition in the liberal arts makes GC a fit with students enrolled at St. Joseph’s College,” he said. “We believe our campus culture will provide a welcoming environment for any transfers from St. Joseph’s.”