Massachusetts Increases Oversight for 2 Faith-Based Colleges


The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education has intensified financial oversight for two faith-based colleges in the state, expressing concerns about their ability to remain operational.

The agency stated that it cannot confirm whether Northpoint Bible College and Boston Baptist College have the financial resources to sustain operations through the upcoming academic year.


Contingency Plans Underway

According to the department, it is collaborating with both institutions to develop contingency plans in case of closure. With both colleges having relatively small student populations, financial sustainability remains a significant challenge.

Under state law enacted in 2019, Massachusetts mandates annual financial reviews of private colleges to identify potential closure risks, aiming to prevent sudden shutdowns like the one experienced by Mount Ida College in 2018.

READ ALSO: University of Antelope Valley Faces Imminent Closure Amid Financial and Operational Challenges

Regulatory Requirements and Recent History

Regulations mandate that colleges devise comprehensive closure contingency plans, including provisions for student transfers and budget allocations to support educational activities during potential closures. Additionally, colleges at risk may be required to provide financial collateral to ensure student refunds and preserve academic records.

Recent years have witnessed several college acquisitions and closures in Massachusetts, including Boston College's acquisition of Pine Manor College and the closure of Becker College in 2021.

Response from the Colleges

Northpoint Bible College acknowledged the oversight from the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and attributed its financial challenges to declining enrollment and increased debts, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite enrollment declines in previous years, the college reported a recent uptick in fall 2023, although specific figures were not disclosed.

Similarly, Boston Baptist College experienced a significant decline in enrollment over the past decade. However, David Melton, the college president, has not yet responded to requests for comment.

As both institutions navigate financial uncertainties, increased oversight from state authorities aims to ensure the protection of student interests and the stability of higher education in Massachusetts.

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