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Conflicting Advice for Sweet Briar Students

March 9, 2015

Alumnae of Sweet Briar College, who are preparing a legal challenge to its decision to shut down, on Saturday issued a request to current students not to transfer. Since the college's announcement last week, it has announced agreements to allow for expedited transfer to some institutions, and other colleges have also expressed interest in enrolling Sweet Briar students.

But Saving Sweet Briar, which has announced that it has retained a law firm to help block the college's closure, is concerned that if the students transfer, there may not be much of a college left to save. "As we advance our legal strategy and develop alternatives to the closure of Sweet Briar College, it is critical that current students give our efforts time to bear fruit before they commit to attending other institutions," said a statement from the group. The organization said that it appreciated the way other colleges were trying to help Sweet Briar students, but said that "we also ask our sister colleges to give our efforts time to succeed."

A group spokesman declined to provide any details on the legal strategy Saving Sweet Briar will pursue.

A spokeswoman for Sweet Briar strongly disagreed with the request from the group. "It is important for students and parents not to delay developing their transfer plans for the fall semester," she said via e-mail. "Students who delay the timely selection of a new academic home limit their collegiate options and their potential access to financial aid from other institutions. It is important to remember that our accreditation ends as of August 25, further supporting our students' need to find a new institution now."

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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