BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Virginia College in Baton Rouge has announced it will no longer be enrolling new students. According to the college’s website, this goes into effect Monday, September 10. The graduation for this fall semester has also been cancelled. The school posted the following statement on their website:
Nancy Thomas has her degree, cap, and gown and now all she is waiting for is her big day to celebrate as a Virginia College graduate.“It’s just a life-changing experience to walk across the stage,” Thomas said.
With this big change seemingly coming out of nowhere, Thomas now believes her chance to walk across the stage with honors in front of her kids may not even happen, since the school seems to be shutting down. “It really hurts, you know, because you’re open today, closed tomorrow and I didn’t even really see a set date that it was going to close,” she added.
Thomas says the abrupt statement from the school is the first time she has heard they were making changes. “You don’t hear anything and then to get this news today you’re like, ‘What?’” she said. “This is crazy.”
Larry Sterling was headed to class Monday night, but says his instructor canceled just hours before. He says now he cannot help but think enrolling at the school was a mistake.
“I’m upset because I really need this,” Sterling said. “We are just trying to better ourselves man and to keep going through situations like this with this school, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go from here.”
WAFB tried to reach out to the school for answers and after leaving a voicemail for administrators, resorted to a live chat online. In that chat, a representative told WAFB the decision was made because of “insufficient enrollment demand for our programs.” When pressed for more, WAFB was told our questions would be passed along.
Councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis, who represents the area, calls the news heartbreaking and says she is concerned it might be the final blow for the declining mall.
“It would be devastating to everything that’s around there that’s continuing to try to grow,” said Collins-Lewis. “It’s going to really be heartbreaking to see them leave and to pull out and what will happen to that great investment that they’ve made, so I’m really hoping that this mall does not completely die before we decide to do something with it.”
WAFB has reached out to the school’s admissions department and has not yet heard back from them.