College Debt: School Bernie Sanders' wife once ran is forced to shut down

Bernie Campaign Stop Gives Way to Volunteer Complaints

The tiny Vermont college that Bernie Sanders' wife used to run is going out of business — done-in by a $10 million real estate deal that she spearheaded.

Burlington College, which had been crushed beneath weight of the property purchase made in 2010 while Jane Sanders was college president, will close at the end of the month, the college confirmed on Monday.

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"These hurdles are insurmountable at this time," Dean of Operations and Advancement Coralee Holm said in a statement. "It is with a great sense of loss to the educational community that Burlington College's progressive and unique educational model will no longer be available to students."

In a letter to students and parents, College President Carol Moore said the closure brought a "deep sense of loss and sadness." Current students, she said, will be able to transfer credits and continue their education at a neighboring college.

10 things you didn't know about Bernie Sanders:

10 things you don't know about Bernie Sanders
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College Debt: School Bernie Sanders' wife once ran is forced to shut down

1. He's a socialist, and he doesn't deny it. When he ran for office in 1990 he responded to an ad trying to link him to Fidel Castro by saying,  "I am a socialist and everyone knows that."

(AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

2. He used to moonlight as a comedy actor, appearing in the 1999 film "My X-Girlfriends Wedding Reception."

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

4. He made headlines in in 2010 when he tried to block a deal that included a tax cut extension for the wealthy with a filibuster-like stand. The stunt trended on Twitter with the hashtag #filibernie and later crashed the Senate video server.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

5. He is not religious. While all past presidents have been openly religious and Christian, Sanders says he identifies as Jewish but doesn't practice. 

 (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

7. He grew up in a working class family in Brooklyn, and his father was a Polish immigrant.

 (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

8. He released an album called 'We Shall Overcome' in which he reads speeches about peace and justice with a choir singing in the background. It's available on iTunes. 

(Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)

9. He is a big believer in Scandinavian political thinking and has said that the U.S. should adopt some of their principles, including the idea that health care should be a right, and higher education should be free.

 (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)


There was no immediate reaction from Jane Sanders.

When NBC News sought comment from the Democratic presidential candidate — who has called for making public colleges and universities tuition free — campaign communications director Michael Briggs emailed back a one-word response: "No."

Determined to double the then-200 student enrollment by 2020, Jane Sanders pushed to purchase the 32-acre parcel of land along Lake Champlain from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

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Sanders, who had been president since 2004, left the private liberal arts college in 2011.

Four years later, Burlington College — desperate to get its books back in the black — took a huge loss when it sold the land to a developer for $7.65 million. It was not enough the save the school.

In April, the college's lender informed them the line of credit would not be renewed. And on Friday, the college's Board of Trustees agreed to shutter the 44-year-old school.

On Saturday, the last class to graduate from Burlington College collected their diplomas.

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