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Finlandia University announced Thursday that it will not enroll students for the upcoming academic year and has teach-out agreements in place as it prepares to close.

In a statement announcing the looming closure, the Board of Trustees pointed to demographic changes that have led to a “steep decrease in interest in going to college.”

“I want to assure you that the Board of Trustees made every effort possible to work with President [Timothy] Pinnow and his leadership team to avoid this conclusion. We, as a board and leadership team, left no stone unturned in our attempts to move Finlandia forward toward a healthier future. While none of us wanted this day to come, we also have realized that in order to honor Finlandia’s 126‐year‐old legacy appropriately, we must end its operations with as much grace and dignity as possible,” the board statement said.

Finlandia, a private Lutheran college in Michigan, enrolled 424 students in fall 2021, according to the most recent data available from the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. IPEDS data show that enrollment has fluctuated in recent years but mostly numbered fewer than 500 students in any given year.

Finlandia University is one of a handful of colleges that have announced closures in recent months, including Presentation College, ASA College, Cazenovia College, Holy Names University and Living Arts College.

Given the economic challenges driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, the end of federal coronavirus relief money, fewer high school graduates to recruit and continuing inflation, experts have suggested that 2023 may see a higher number of colleges close than usual.