Former college towns left to adapt to business loss

POULTNEY, Vt. (AP) — As colleges and universities come alive this fall, some campuses sit closed and empty. They have recently closed because of a decline in enrollment and financial challenges.

Now the hometowns that long hosted the institutions and relied on them for an economic boost are left to adapt to the loss of business and identity.

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities says more than 70 private nonprofit colleges and universities have closed nationwide since 1995. That figure includes schools that announced they would close in June 2020.

Bob Williams is owner of the hardware store in Poultney, Vermont, where Green Mountain College operated for 185 years before closing last spring. The campus is for sale.

Williams says he’s “anxiously looking forward to having something take over” the campus.

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