(Updates to add comment and name of real estate firm)
By Tom Hals
WILMINGTON, Del. Nov 29 Dowling College became
a rare nonprofit college to file for bankruptcy on Tuesday after
the liberal arts school near New York lost its academic
accreditation in August and closed its doors after 48 years.
The college has suffered from sinking enrollment and
defaulted last year on $54 million in debt that was issued
through local government agencies.
Dowling joins several for-profit colleges, such ITT
Educational Services and Corinthian Colleges, that
have filed for bankruptcy in recent years after losing access to
U.S. government-backed financial aid programs.
Dowling announced earlier this year that efforts to find a
partner to rescue the school had fallen through and began
helping its more than 1,500 students to find other institutions
to complete their education.
The school offered dozens of majors and specialized in the
arts and sciences, aviation, education and business, and offered
The college has hired real estate firms, including A&G
Realty Partners to sell its waterfront campus property in
Oakdale in eastern Long Island, according to court documents.
Real estate in Shirley, New York will be marketed next year.
"The (Oakdale) property is already zoned residential and is
ideal for continued use as an educational institution or
redevelopment into residential or other uses," Andy Graiser,
co-president of A&G Realty, said in a statement.
Morris Brown College in Atlanta filed for bankruptcy in
2012. Other financially struggling nonprofit colleges have
closed or merged with stronger institutions.
(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; additional
reporting by Jessica DiNapoli in New York; editing by Jonathan
Oatis and Sunil Nair)