The only private university in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will shut its doors after this school year because of low enrollment, school officials announced Thursday.
Finlandia University in Hancock, just north of Houghton in the Keweenaw Peninsula, will not enroll any new or returning students next year.
The move is “due to a combination of demographic changes, with fewer high school graduates available, a steep decrease in interest in going to college among those graduates, and an unbearable debt load,” the school’s board wrote in a letter to its community.
The school had about 424 undergraduate students enrolled in fall 2021, the most recent year for which enrollment numbers are available.
The school was established in 1896 by Finnish immigrants as Suomi College. It is one of 26 colleges and universities affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Suomi College changed its named in 2000 to Finlandia University.
In addition to its teaching, the university is also home to the cultural center of Finns in North America, the Finnish American Heritage Center. In addition, the university has unique curriculum focused on Nordic studies, several Finnish exchange students and interns each year and the Finnish American Reporter, a monthly newspaper celebrating Finnish American heritage.
Source : David Jesse, “Up North’s Finlandia University to close after this school year”, Detroit Free Press, March 2, 2023.