Cabrini University Announces Closure in Radnor Township

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In sad news for the Main Line community, Cabrini University plans to close its doors for the last time following the 2023-24 academic year.

The 2023-24 academic year will be the final year that historic Cabrini University opens its doors.

Founded in 1957 as a private Roman Catholic university in Radnor Township, the school has faced financial troubles and a shrinking class size in recent years. The rising senior class of 2024 has 389 students, while the rising sophomore class of 2026 has just 284 students.

Changes among academic ranks and leadership in recent years represented an attempt to ease rising financial troubles, but unfortunately the strain proved to be too much.

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While Cabrini has conducted efforts to improve revenue streams, that financial burden eventually overwhelmed the school’s ability to function properly. 

Plans for the Future

For those students and teachers who hadn’t planned to move on after the 2024 academic year, Villanova University has offered a ray of hope for a continued future at its campus, or at a renewed Cabrini.

Having initiated discussions between the two Catholic universities to honor and preserve Cabrini’s legacy, the boards of both schools have jointly approved, in principle, an agreement that will share counseling and resources to develop individual transfer plans for former Cabrini students. Likewise, Villanova aims to support Cabrini faculty and staff in identifying potential future employment opportunities. The deal also includes Villanova’s takeover of the land occupied by Cabrini once the 2023-24 year concludes.

Lastly, Villanova will look to honor Cabrini’s legacy, both in name and continuation of the institution’s developments in education, nursing, service, immigration and the advancement of women.

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Though no formal deal has yet been agreed upon, both institutions assure that discussions are being conducted in good faith and that more information will be available upon the conclusion of the ongoing dialogue.

Local Rosemont College, also a Catholic university that’s based in Bryn Mawr, has offered students a “seamless transfer pathway.” 

While the shuttering of Cabrini is a grim reminder of the financial burdens of small private universities, the outpouring of support from local colleges and communities reminds us of the strong cultural ties these institutions have to the Main Line.

Related: Your Guide to Colleges and Schools Around the Main Line

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