Lincoln College in the US state of Illinois will close its doors for good from May 13. A cyber attack that took place at the end of last year is an important reason for this. The corona pandemic also had a major impact on the finances of the educational institution.
The American college announces the sad news in a press release.
Lincoln College sees record number of applications
Lincoln College has a long and rich history. The school was founded in 1865 and went through all kinds of difficult times. The board cites the economic crisis of 1887, the great campus fire in 1912, the Spanish flu of 1918, the economic depression of the 1930s, the Second World War and the global credit crisis of 2008 as examples.
The educational institution managed to overcome all these hardships. In the fall of 2019, the school even faced a record number of student registrations. All student rooms on campus were packed. The school prospered and there was no indication that the tide would turn.
Corona pandemic worsened financial position
However, that happened at the beginning of 2020, when the corona pandemic broke out. That had “a dramatic impact on recruiting and fundraising efforts, sporting events and all activities of campus life,” writes David Gerlach, president of Lincoln College.
The outbreak of the coronavirus meant that the school was faced with investments and high costs to ensure the safety of students and staff. The number of new students enrolled also fell. They decided to postpone their studies, leaving the school in a dire financial position.
Cyber attack proves fatal blow to Lincoln College
The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was the cyber attack that took place at the end of 2021. As a result, all admission activities for students were made impossible. Also, researchers and students did not have access to research data. The attack left a blurry picture of the enrollment forecast for the fall of 2022. “All systems required for recruiting, retention and fundraising were rendered inoperable,” the press release read.
No personal data was stolen during the cyber attack. The repair work took several months. It was not until March 2022 that all systems were fully restored. Then the board saw that the number of registrations had fallen sharply. The only way to get through the current semester was through donations or a partnership.
The educational institution says it has done everything it can to get its finances back in order. Fundraising campaigns have been set up, assets sold and costs saved. “Unfortunately, these efforts have not resulted in a long-term viability of Lincoln College in the face of the pandemic,” the press statement said.
‘Had an impact on the world’
Gerlach says he regrets the decision. “Lincoln College has been helping students from around the world for more than 157 years. After all, the loss of history, careers and a community of students and alumni is complete,” said the chairman. “While we have undeniable grief and sorrow, we find comfort in knowing that Lincoln College has served generations of alumni who have undoubtedly made an impact on our world.”
Catch up on more articles here
Follow us on Twitter here