Are Student Loans Responsible For The Closure Of Small Colleges?

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A building at Newbury College in Brookline. (Courtesy Newbury College via Facebook)
A building at Newbury College in Brookline, which is set to close this Spring. (Courtesy Newbury College via Facebook)

Newbury College is the second Massachusetts college to close ion 2018; the third if you include Wheelock College's merger with Boston University.

Bob Hildreth, the founder of the Hildreth Institute and Inversant, believes that student loans are to blame for Newbury College's closure.

He argues that student loans are essentially free money for colleges, and have created a financial model built on the assumption that schools can continue to raise tuition; and students will be willing to take on debt to pay it.

That approach has left colleges with empty seats and Hidlreth says resulted in the closure of schools like Newbury College. He argues the only path forward for institutions of higher ed is to end the reliance on student loans.


Bob Hildreth, founder of the Hildreth Institute and Inversant, both nonprofit organizations that help low-income students go to college. He is funding a lawsuit against Mount Ida College. He is on the WBUR Board of Overseers and a key financial contributor to WBUR’s expanded education coverage.

This segment aired on December 20, 2018.


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Chris Citorik Senior Producer
Chris Citorik was a senior producer for Radio Boston.


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Zoë Mitchell Producer and Studio Director
Zoë Mitchell was a Radio Boston producer and studio director.



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