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Cleveland State University is in talks to absorb Notre Dame College, a small private institution in nearby South Euclid, Ohio, after the two began discussing a strategic partnership last fall, Signal Cleveland reported Monday.

The potential merger would be a somewhat rare marriage of public and private institutions.

In a recent social media post, Notre Dame College noted that “no decision has been made at this time” but that it engaged Cleveland State in talks about a “potential opportunity” because of “a number of challenges including a shrinking pool of college-aged students and growing costs.”

Notre Dame College officials told Signal Cleveland it will provide more information next month.

As alluded to in the social media post, Notre Dame College has struggled with enrollment in recent years. While Signal Cleveland reported that the college currently enrolls around 1,050 full-time students, that number has collapsed since fall 2014, when it enrolled 2,281 students, according to the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

The much larger Cleveland State—which enrolls around 14,000 students—has also dealt with enrollment declines in the last decade. IPEDS data show it enrolled nearly 17,000 students in fall 2014.

The news of the potential merger follows a wave of closures and mergers in 2023. The new year has already brought a merger between the University of Redlands and Woodbury University, the discontinuation of degree programs at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the looming closure of for-profit Florida Career College. The Vermont College of Fine Arts also recently announced it was seeking a buyer.