American University of Puerto Rico to close at the end of the year

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Dive Brief:

  • American University of Puerto Rico, with campuses in the cities of Bayamón and Manatí, will close at the end of the year, according to a statement from institution officials.
  • The university attributed the decision to Puerto Rico’s sluggish recovery after hurricanes Irma and María hit in 2017. It also cited fewer high school graduates enrolling and generally poor economic conditions.
  • Officials also said they had tried other ways to remain open, including by merging with another institution, but were unsuccessful.

Dive Insight:

The U.S. economy, along with a shrinking pool of traditional high school graduates, has spurred the demise of several institutions this year — mostly small, private nonprofit colleges.

Colleges that were in a tough financial position before the coronavirus pandemic may have survived longer because of an influx of federal COVID-19 relief dollars to both colleges and local and state governments, experts have said. However, that money has since run dry. 

American University of Puerto Rico enrolled 550 students across its two campuses in fall 2021, according to the most recently available federal data.

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