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Villanova to Take Over Neighboring School’s Campus

Villanova University is in talks to take over neighboring Cabrini University, which has faced declining enrollment and financial challenges in recent years.

Cabrini University, which enrolls just about 1,700 students, announced plans to close its doors after this upcoming academic year and sell its land to Villanova University—which is located just two miles, Bloomberg reports.

“In a shifting and increasingly difficult higher ed landscape; ongoing financial challenges and declining enrollment led us to the difficult decision to close Cabrini University and seek a partner institution to help preserve the school’s legacy and mission and honor the original intention for the Cabrini campus to promote opportunities in Catholic education,” Cabrini says in an online post announcing the deal.


The downfall of Cabrini University—and its deal with Villanova—highlights the growing divide the increasing gap between prestigious, well-established institutions with abundant resources and smaller, private colleges struggling to draw in students.

Cabrini University, which was founded in 1957, had about 1,700 students in fiscal 2022, down from 2,300 in 2018. The school had an endowment valued at about $45.5 million in fiscal 2021.

Cabrini has suffered financial troubles in recent years with about $46 million of municipal-bond debt outstanding.

On the other hand, Villanova enrolls roughly 6,700 full-time undergraduate students, with an additional 3,100 graduate and law students and a whopping $1.9 billion endowment.

Cabrini students who haven’t graduated by spring 2024 will be able to continue their education at partner schools that will honor students’ credits and financial aid. Additionally, Cabrini students will receive an expedited review process in attending Villanova.

“While Cabrini can no longer endure as an independent university, Villanova stands with us, willing to honor Cabrini’s history, tradition, and legacy,” Cabrini leaders Helen Drinan, president of the university, and Amy Lambert, chair of the board of trustees, state in the letter posted on the school’s website. “Though we know this is not the outcome any of us hoped for, we do believe this agreement with Villanova is the best path forward.”

Sources: Bloomberg, Cabrini University

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