An all-women, private school in Virginia is shutting its doors after more than a century.
Sweet Briar College, which opened in 1906, announced Tuesday it will close indefinitely at the end of the academic year because of "insurmountable financial challenges."The students were told in a private meeting with the school's president which left many students stunned.
"Everybody's having a difficult time with it; students, professors. I'm going to miss it. I'm going to miss my sisters. I'm sorry," one student said.
"I completely broke down and I started crying and it was very shocking to know the school, my home, had to end like this."
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the school's board of directors voted unanimously in February to cease all operations after a year-long study yielded no solution.
President James Jones Jr. explained not enough students are applying to rural schools and even fewer want to attend an all-women's college.
Alumni expressed their shock and sadness on Twitter after hearing the news.
One user said, "A piece of me is dying. Devasted @Sweetbriaredu is closing"
Another tweeted, "I am STUNNED, it's taking all my courage not to burst into tears right now...Why didn't we know this was happening"
The decision isn't just affecting students.
In a Facebook post, a wedding and events company explained it was, quote, "starting to get calls from panicky couples that had their weddings booked at Sweet Briar College." The business went on to explain that it will do everything in its power to help find another venue.
The troubling news even touched a teacher in Ohio, who tweeted, "Stunned and heartbroken at the announced closing of Sweet Briar College, the result of dangerous trends in higher ed."
Several local colleges plan to open their doors to Sweet Briar students next year.
President of Sweet Briar explains the board's decision:
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