As College of New Rochelle Closes, Mercy Takes on Displaced Students

While the local university faces closure as early as this summer, another local school is making sure students and even faculty are not left in the lurch.

Update 3/5/19: The College of New Rochelle and Mercy College announced today the finalization of a deal that will allow current CNR students to continue their studied uninterrupted by transferring to Mercy. Nearly all CNR programs will be matched to existing or newly approved Mercy programs, pending regulatory approval, and the university plans to rehire a good chunk of former CNR faculty while also renting many of its existing facilities in New Rochelle, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.

The deal has been constructed such that current and incoming students at CNR should be able to graduate on-time, and should see their tuition costs remain the same or even decrease in some cases.

“While this is a difficult time for the CNR community, we are dedicated to keeping the legacy of CNR alive at our institution and ensuring this transition works to the benefit of all students studying at Mercy College,” says Mercy College President Timothy Hall. “I’m proud that our two institutions were able to come together on an agreement that I believe will strengthen Mercy College and create and uninterrupted path to continuing education for CNR’s students.”

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Original story follows.


It’s been a very rough few years for the College of New Rochelle. Then-college president Judith Huntington resigned in 2016, amid revelations that the school had failed to properly keep financial records while accruing more than $31 million in debt. Over the next several years the school faced several rounds of lay-offs, budget cuts, and property sales — and a $5 million anonymous gift — that kept it just barely afloat. Now, the school says, the end might finally be at hand.

Related: Will The College of New Rochelle Survive Their Financial Crisis?

In a letter sent out to the college community on Friday, the schools states it “continues to experience significant cash flow challenges,” and offers three potential outcomes for the school, as per board of trustees president William Latimer:

“Closure and teaching out existing students, partnership, or standing alone.” The letter adds, “At this point in time, it appears unlikely that the college will be able to continue operations beyond the end of the summer 2019 semester.”

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As of Wednesday evening, CNR’s Twitter account was still congratulating newly admitted students from the class of 2023. Students currently enrolled in education programs have been left in limbo, as the college seeks to find a workable solution to its financial woes. The memo does state that the school is in talks with an “educational institution” that could aid the situation, but that it is “not considering a merger or acquisition of the college and is not considering the assumption of any of the college’s debt.”

That institution, revealed Monday to be the nearby Mercy College, released a statement to offer students “an uninterrupted pathway to continue their education at Mercy.” While the details are not final, the goal would be to effectively transfer all CNR students to Mercy College without adversely affecting the current student body or increasing tuition rates for either group.

Some former CNR faculty and/or facilities might be included in the deal, but  with millions in back taxes, penalties and late fees, and even litigation surrounding a reportedly improper round of layoffs in 2017, the most likely outcome seems to be that fall 2019 will see the dissolution of the 115 year-old institution.


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