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Urbana’s closure: economic impact

Urbana University | Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Urbana University | Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

The closure of a university such as Urbana causes a large economic downturn in the surrounding community.

The decision to close

Urbana University, a private university in Urbana, announced they would be closing their campus after the Spring 2020 semester.

This branch campus of Franklin University came to the decision to close as they have faced years of low enrollment.

The price is around $12,000 per semester, according to Urbana’s website.

With this, the outbreak of the coronavirus further put Urbana’s financial situation into a state which was unsustainable.

The decision to close has impacted 1,254 students and 111 full-time employees. There are several actions being taken by the university and other institutions to lessen the blow and help those affected.

Massive economic downturn

Urbana University’s closure will cause a massive downturn in economic activity in the area. Urbana University brought in more than $60 million to the Champaign and Logan County economy between 2015 and 2016, according to the Springfield News-Sun.

This comes from the income of the workers and students, but also the business the university’s sports and events bring in.

The local area of Urbana will certainly feel an atmospherical difference and suffer without the yearly $60 million the university brings in.

For the 111 full-time employees, Urbana has offered some employees opportunities to work at Franklin University.

Those who have not been offered employment will be offered severance packages. These will include outplacement assistance to help find future employment, according to the announcement.

Wright State assistance

According to a Wright State press release, Wright State is offering any transfers from Urbana University to Wright State a $2,000 tuition scholarship and then a separate $2,000 housing scholarship for fall and spring semester ($1,000 per semester for each scholarship.)

In March, the federal government passed a $2 trillion stimulus package, and included in the package was $14 billion intended to help aid colleges and their students.

$6.28 billion is allocated for students, which is intended to reimburse students for “expenses related to disruptions in their educations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including things like course materials and technology as well as food, housing, healthcare, and childcare,” according to the American Physical Therapy Association.

The amount Urbana University will receive will depend on a formula the Department of Education has created.

Urbana University has been a home for so many and their closing will have a great impact on the community and the local economy for the area.

Despite being founded around 150 years ago and being acquired by Franklin University in 2014, the financial struggles of recent years are too much to handle and have force the university to close.

Urbana University and others are trying to reduce the negative effects of the closure and will continue to leave a successful legacy behind.