St. John’s University will close its Staten Island campus at the end of the spring 2024 semester, the university announced.
Students, faculty, staff and administrators were informed of the decision Aug. 12.
The university’s board of trustees voted Aug. 2 to begin a phase-out process that will include no incoming freshmen for the Staten Island campus in the fall 2023 semester.
Undergraduate and graduate students at the Staten Island campus will have the opportunity to complete their studies at St. John’s Queens campus through the board’s teach-out plan. The university is starting an endowed scholarship fund to assist students from the Staten Island campus who continue their studies on the main campus in Queens.
The university said its decision to close the Staten Island campus is a result of declining student enrollment due to several factors, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and declining enrollment at Catholic schools on Staten Island that serve as feeders to the Staten Island campus.
The enrollment of the Staten Island campus, which can serve up to 3,000 students, dropped 63 percent from 2000 to 2021. The university campus served only 861 undergraduate and graduate students last fall, compared with 2,309 in 2000.
The declining enrollment also follows a national trend as nearly 1 million fewer Americans are attending college since the start of the pandemic and enrollment has dropped by nearly 3 million students over the past decade.
St. John’s made attempts to keep the Staten Island campus open and improve enrollment by starting a Staten Island Task Force for Student Success in 2007, developing a strategic plan to enhance student recruitment for 2014-2017, and reducing tuition in 2015.
St. John’s came to Staten Island in 1971, when it consolidated with Notre Dame College, a small, independent women’s college dating back to the 1930s.
The 16.5-acre Staten Island campus has 10 buildings and offers 83 academic programs. All but one program are also offered on the Queens campus.
St. John’s will continue to operate its campuses in Queens and Manhattan, and in Rome, Paris and Limerick, Ireland.
St. John’s had 15,421 undergraduate and 4,206 graduate students enrolled from 48 states and 188 countries in fall 2021.
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