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Thomas More Joins Chorus of Schools Reaching Out to Students at St. Catharine

St. Catharine College, the Catholic institution near Springfield, Kentucky, announced this week that it would be closing its doors forever, overrun with debt associated with new buildings and a dispute with the federal government over student aid.

Thomas More College has reached out to students at the school.

“Our goal is to provide St. Catharine students with a smooth transfer process to Thomas More College to continue their education,” said David A. Armstrong, President of Thomas More College, in a statement. "We understand this can be an upsetting time for students as they search for a ‘perfect fit’ to continue their studies toward their degrees, we believe that Thomas More College is that place.”

“Whether St. Catharine students want to complete their education here on our beautiful campus in Crestview Hills or online, we stand ready to facilitate an easy transition,” said Chris Powers, PhD, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management.
 
After numerous recent meetings of the St. Catharine College Board of Trustees, chairman John Turner announced at a campus-wide faculty and staff meeting on Wednesday that the College would be closing its doors, according to a news release posted on the school's website. 

"It is with great sadness that I announce today, after exploring all possible options, the Board of Trustees has determined the challenges facing St. Catharine College are insurmountable and we will be closing the College at the end of July," Turner said in a statement. 

A decline in overall enrollment caused at least in part, the school said, by the federal Department of Education's withholding of student aid on several key academic programs, has proven to be too difficult to manage with the debt obligation the College has assumed in recent years, the statement said. 

The debt referenced was due to the building of new facilities including residence halls, a health-sciences building, and most recently a state-of-the-art library. 

President Cindy Gnadinger and the College’s Board of Trustees have worked tirelessly in attempting to satisfy the requirements of the DoE and to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in immediate operating funds through this past spring semester.

"Without the enrollment and with the DOE’s chokehold on our cashflow, the debt is simply not manageable," Chairman Turner explained.

Many other universities and colleges in Kentucky and elsewhere are attempting to bring St. Catharine's 750 students to their campuses. Some schools have used their official Facebook pages to comment on St. Catharine's Facebook post announcing the closure.

-Staff report

Photo of St. Catharine via Wiki Commons