"For much of recent history, intimate private colleges and universities have thrived here, as much a part of the region’s identity as tumbledown stone walls and scenic coastlines, the local highways bristling with signs signaling that another quintessential New England campus is just an exit away.But the business model for the small liberal arts school is much less viable these days, as the population of high school graduates continues to decline and more young people are skeptical of, or unable to bear, the hefty cost of a college degree. Already in Massachusetts, more than 20 colleges closed completely or merged into larger institutions since 2014, according to the state Department of Higher Education.And industry insiders expect more of the smaller or lesser-known schools to fade away, while a handful of private universities boasting massive endowments will continue to flourish.Two of the nation’s big credit rating agencies reported dire financial outlooks for the year for the higher education sector: Fitch Ratings says conditions in the sector are “deteriorating,” and Moody’s Investors Service says the outlook is “negative.”
As has been posted here previously, the demographic trends are/should be well known, school population is declining particularly in the US. There are a variety of reasons all contributing to the decline and some institutions (i.e. small colleges) are going to feel too.