When small colleges have financial problems one popular tactic to save the school is to sell out and become a part of a for-profit educational company. This strategy allows the school to benefit from the company’s resources. The company can take advantage of the school’s highly-coveted regional accreditation.

But sometimes this doesn’t work out. According to an article by Kevin Abourezk in the Lincoln Journal Star, Dana College, a struggling Nebraska school, could not sell out to a for-profit company:

On Wednesday, Dana’s Board of Regents decided to close the college after its accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, declined to grant continuing accreditation to Dana’s proposed buyers.

The Higher Learning Commission’s decision led the college’s proposed buyers – the Dana Education Corp. and Nebraska Higher Education Corp., which had planned to turn the Lutheran Church-affiliated, nonprofit Dana into a for-profit college – to end the deal.

According to the article, Sylvia Manning, the president of the Higher Learning Commission, indicated that her accrediting agency would not extend accreditation to the for-profit institution because it didn’t believe that the institution would continue Dana’ s original mission.

Policies approved by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools last year require the buyers of any school accredited by the commission to commit to “maintain the central mission of the colleges” they purchase. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer