After 157 Years, This College Is Shutting Its Doors
(RepublicanPress.org) – One of the oldest colleges in the United States is closing its doors after struggling to stay afloat. Lincoln College in rural Illinois was built in 1865 and construction began on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. However, both COVID-19 and a severe ransomware attack left this educational establishment helpless and unable to recover.
With around 600 students, Lincoln College’s enrollment dropped significantly when the pandemic hit. Even after mandates were lifted, enrollment struggled to regain traction. Schools all over the country experienced tragic admissions losses during COVID as mandates required in-person classes to pause temporarily. These closures took a tremendous financial toll, especially on smaller colleges that relied on tuition to make ends meet.
Lincoln College, a historically Black college in Illinois, will close this week after 157 years, saying it could not survive the financial challenges of the pandemic and a ransomware attack last year. https://t.co/Bcc636Ur84
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 9, 2022
Lincoln College may have managed to survive the pandemic, but to add insult to injury, it also experienced economic devastation as the result of a recent ransomware attack. The hack reportedly came from Iran, and the cybercriminals demanded under $100,000, which the school eventually paid. School administrators assured the public that no personal information was stolen. However, the attack rendered the school’s computer system inoperable throughout the campus, leaving behind significant damage that lingered for months.
Over the past few years, businesses and schools have greatly suffered due to the pandemic. In the first few months of the pandemic, it was reported that more than 100,000 businesses that closed their doors during the pandemic ended up shutting down permanently. Though the economy is beginning to buzz again, many companies and schools are still struggling to employ staff members, recruit new students, and maintain return on investment. Meanwhile, cyber risks continue to grow due to increased prevalence of the Internet and digital media. If immediate changes aren’t made to prioritize education and small businesses, could closures continue among struggling establishments?
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