Hope International University of Fullerton, Calif., plans to close Nebraska Christian College at the end of the spring semester, just a few years after acquiring the Nebraska institution in 2016 through a merger.
The move is a result of the same financial pressures bearing down on small, private, Christian institutions nationwide, according to a statement from the chair of Hope International’s Board of Trustees, Toby Yurek. The Nebraska location was operating at losses deemed unsustainable.
Nebraska Christian College added intercollegiate athletics and online offerings, and enrollment grew 27 percent to 140 students after the 2016 merger. But enrollment since plunged to 85 this spring, a 30-year low.
“It is imperative that our students and their families understand this is a branch campus closure,” Hope International’s president, Paul Alexander, said in a statement. “Students enrolled at NCC are already HIU students, by virtue of the merger, and will continue to be enrolled at HIU. We fully understand that this news, initially, is shocking, unsettling, and disappointing for our students, but we want them to know that we will do everything in our power to assist them through this.”
Students will have the option of transferring to Hope International’s campus in California or finishing their degrees online. The Nebraska location enrolls 85 students, half of them enrolled in online programs.