My Son’s College is Closing

 

Photo taken by Jojo Anderson

I have been in shock for a couple of days over this! Branden’s college has gone under and sold out to a big school, the University of Massachusetts. His dreams of achieving his degree at Mount Ida are gone. His Presidential scholarship totaling $100,000 for four years is gone. We try to process, especially since we both love his college and community. From here he and his girlfriend must deal with their emotions, study for finals and scramble for colleges. My cousin Flora must try to finish her Master’s elsewhere, away from the only college she’s attended. Two years ago Branden took months to decide, tour, talked with college faculties, stood in on classes and now he must do all this again. The difference is that he has just a few weeks to decide and get the ball rolling for the Fall semester.

 

This is the post I just entered on a Mount Ida Support group. Many parents and students are lost and don’t know where to turn. I’ve read negative posts of legal action and talking to the media and my response is, why? Will that solve anything or make it worse? See my Entry below.

 

I joined this group as support as I am mourning the loss of Mount Ida College. My son is a Sophomore in the Animation major and up until the other day had dreams to achieve his goals through this institution. I am not bitter, full of hate or have no desire to blame anyone for what has happened. After all, how is that going to change things and put our students on the right path? My desire is to cope but mostly be there for my son and his girlfriend as they try to pick up broken pieces and move on to achieve their dreams. It’s not going to be easy, struggles in life never are but I’ve learned they make you stronger! I will not fight nor look into talking to media. I will not seek legal action, as I feel my son has received a great education at this college. I also want to add that my son has lost a Presidential Scholarship promised to him, $100,000 in total if he kept his grades up. It’s a blow to us, as that helped seal the deal on his initial decision. But we will see what other colleges will match and let it go however hard it may be.We will move forward with grace and acceptance. That’s how I was taught to live…simply, with strength and kindness. No hate. No blame. No negativity. I do hope many of you will choose that path and help your students find their college and move forward without hate and negativity.

 

With a heavy heart I seek your prayers and well wishes. I know it’s God’s plan and that it will work out but in the meantime it’s difficult. I feel for the 1,400 plus students and the faculty who found out the same day as the students that they were out of a job. Please keep them all in your prayers and thoughts.

28 thoughts on “My Son’s College is Closing

  1. How awful for him and you as well.

    Was Mount Ida accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges? If so, it you would have standing to make a complaint to NEASC.

    No idea whether they can do anything to help. But Accrediting Commission criteria usually require institutions to open their financial records to accrediting teams and demonstrate that they are solvent and not at risk to do just what Mt. Ida seems to have done – close the doors and leave students hanging out. I have been on a team where a school refused to share their financial records, and the team recommended Denial (and the commission agreed, and Denied the school accreditation) because of that.

    In any case, as he selects his next school you may want to specifically ask about their accreditation status, and whether they had any accrediting team recommendations related to their financial stability, as part of your research. Or his research.

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    1. thank you, Florence. I will tell him to ask about their accreditation status as far as financial stability. If we knew this two years ago we would have walked regardless of the scholarship.

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  2. Just found this on Mt. Ida’s web page:
    ‘Our Board of Trustees has announced that Mount Ida College has reached an agreement with the University of Massachusetts, under which UMass Amherst will acquire the physical assets of our Newton campus and students in good academic standing will be offered automatic acceptance to UMass Dartmouth, a Tier 1 national research university.’

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    1. Thank you, yes, he’s looking into Umass. It’s automatic admissions if you are in good standing but the difference is a huge campus, 7,000 students and different major for Animation in Digital Arts. He will tour there this week and ask questions and such. Thanks for your concern and advice.

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  3. Tom. Mary. & Brandan. Prayers. Are with you. And. All the others that’s going thro this love. Your feelings. Mary. Would. Tha all parents. Would. Be. Strong and. Positive. Till it. All works. Out.hugs. Looks ve.

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  4. Wow – I don’t think I ever heard of such a thing happening. So sorry for all of you. Hopefully the circumstance will lead to something better for all involved. I know I am going through a similar situation with a job. It is difficult – especially at first – but I am choosing – like you – not to dwell on what is lost – but look forward to what the future will hold.

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    1. Hi Jodi, I’m so sorry to hear of your job! It is hard to accept and move on. I wish you’re moving forward brings you many opportunities! I guess a few other small colleges do this when they are bankrupt. Little did we know of their financial debt when he applied. But life goes on, he is a smart and motivated kid and he’ll find something else. Maybe even better. I wish that you for with your new job. Blessings to you.

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      1. Thank you Mary! You are so kind!! Your son is clearly smart and motivated to get that kind of scholarship! That is something to be sooooo proud of! He is sure to be a success with that kind of intelligence and motivation and the wonderful, loving upbringing you have given him!! ❤

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      2. Hi Jodi, you are very kind and sweet and I appreciate your blogger friendship! I am very proud of him and what he has accomplished and I foresee that he will be alright wherever he is. I’m staying in prayer with hopes of a positive end. I think he’s already applied to other colleges and interested in Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. How is the job hunt going or are you staying home for awhile? Thinking of you. I have to read and catch up on your blog soon. It’s been crazy here with phone calls and such.

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      3. You should be proud! I’m proud of YOU for being such a great mom!!! As a matter of fact, I just accepted a new job this week and am super excited! I start 4/23.

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  5. Oh so sorry Mary – it will be hard moving forward, but it seems like you have the right attitude and are doing it with such grace. My best wishes to your son and his girlfriend going forward, he has great support from his family so I know he’ll do well. Prayers going out to everyone.

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    1. Hi Loretta, thanks for stopping by and expressing your concern. Thanks for the prayers as well. That’s how I”m getting through this…lots of prayer for guidance and understanding towards the administration and board of the college. I did call the Attorney General to seek help for the students and they are trying to help however they can, besides investigating what happened. I hope you’re cooking something tasty…I know you usually are! Hugs

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    1. Hi Tammy, yes it’s not great news, rather unsettling. It’s definitely a time to turn to the Lord and pray for guidance. Branden is strong and determined and will make it. I hope all is well with you and your family. I haven’t had much time in the last few weeks to read your blogs but will catch up soon!

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    1. Thanks, Ellen. It was and still is a shock but with prayer and perseverance we are making it through. It’s a huge disappointment for him but he is strong and will succeed no matter what!

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  6. this is so very sad to read Mary. I am so glad that like always you are choosing to be strong and brave about this major set back. am praying for you and am thinking that somehow you will all come through it safely….I learn to be stronger every time I read your blogs so just know it will sort itself out….

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    1. Awe, thanks for your support and friendship, Daksha! I love that you’re here and I enjoy seeing your blogs as well. We have to stay strong…it’s the only choice we can make. Everything is still up in the air but he did apply elsewhere and we’ll see if financial aid covers it.

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  7. This could be a blessing in disguise, especially if the free college promise broke down in the future for other reasons. Fundamentally, college today is OBSOLETE for 80%+ of the students attending them. If your son is focused on “animation”, there are alternative ways to obtain that training in a year’s time (rather than 4 wasted years), and spend the balance of the time traveling, interning, learning, exploring other avenues that will more sensibly propel him into adulthood than the adolescent cocoon of today’s colleges. (Obviously, this college administration is not equipped to prepare your son for life after college as shown by the simple fact they can’t run their own lives and business effectively.
    Good luck to your son. He’ll land on his feet, unlike the people you were depending upon to train him.

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    1. Thank you for reading and your comment. Yes, I believe that it was a blessing in disguise as the college he is attending is cheaper, closer to the city and has great internships. Everything always works out in the end. Take Care!

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