Students at the College of Visual Arts (CVA) in St. Paul, Minnesota, have just begun their final semester: The four-year school, which offers BFAs in fine arts, photography, illustration, fashion design, and graphic design, will close in June, Minnesota Public Radio reports. According to CVA president Ann Ledy the school was forced to close for lack of funds, particularly from charitable donations. “it takes many, many years as a fully accredited four-year college to establish the deep roots that attract donors,” she told MPR.
“Although CVA’s tuition is one of the lowest in the state,” Ledy noted in a statement yesterday, “students have found it more and more difficult to pay their way. With declining federal and state financial aid support, and the challenges surrounding private loans, students cannot afford the college of their dreams.”
Though the college experienced a 21 percent decline in enrollment in the past year, it currently serves 170 students. In addition to 29 full-time staff, 45 adjunct professors teach there. The institution was founded in 1924 in St. Paul’s Ramsey Hill neighborhood, became a four-year college in 1996, and gained full accreditation just two years ago.
Now its students are faced with having to switch schools in the midst of their studies. Those who would have been seniors in the fall will be enrolled at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) thanks to an agreement brokered by CVA’s vice president and general council Sue Short. The rest will have to apply for transfers, but MCAD admissions staff will take their circumstances strongly into consideration. “If they’re in good academic standing with CVA they will be accepted at MCAD,” Short said.
“We are saddened by the closing of CVA and what a loss it will be for the Twin Cities art and design community,” MCAD president Jay Coogan said in a statement. “MCAD stands ready to assist CVA students in finishing their educations and launching their creative careers.”
— Benjamin Sutton
(Image via College of Visual Arts/Facebook.)