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Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to end degree programs

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a museum and art school in Philadelphia, is shutting down its degree programs at the end of the 2024–25 academic year, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The museum will remain open, but the art school—which offered both bachelor’s and master’s degrees—will close due to financial issues; the academy is running a $3 million deficit. Shuttering degree programs is expected to save $1 million annually.

Enrollment has fallen in recent years, from 273 students in fall 2019 to 126 students in 2023, the Inquirer reported.

 PAFA president Eric G. Pryor pointed to that decline as a deciding factor.

“The higher education environment has become increasingly complicated by rising costs, expanding requirements, and dwindling enrollment. Colleges and universities in our own region and across the country are struggling with these trends. PAFA, unfortunately, is no exception,” Pryor said in a letter announcing the decision.

He added that the art school had unsuccessfully sought partnerships to remain open but that none of the discussions were successful, leading to a unanimous board vote to end degree programs.

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