State senators pass legislation to prevent college closures

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – After the sudden closing of Mt. Ida College in Newton last year, state lawmakers are stepping in to help prevent other schools from having to shut their doors.

Members of the state senate spent time on Wednesday debating a bill that would increase in financial transparency within the state’s university system.

Public officials believe the information-sharing requirement would allow the state to better assess the financial needs of private colleges in Massachusetts.

“You know when it comes to the financial health of those institutions, I think the transparency around that when it gets to a situation like Mt. Ida really no one should be taken by surprise,” Senator Welch said.

The goal of the bill is to provide students, faculty, parents, and the state with information on where the college stands financially, and if they’re running into money troubles, the state could step in to prevent a permanent closure.

“Parents who want to, or guardians, or the students themselves who want to continue their due diligence in that kind of financial realm will be able to, and the state will help make that possible,” Senator Comerford said.

The bill requires administrators at all of the state’s colleges to have or take financial literacy training.

According to the House Higher Education Committee, 18 colleges and universities in Massachusetts have closed or merged in the past five years.

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