Waldorf College is coping with a double-dose of foul news.
The college in northern Iowa’s Forest City was rescued from bankruptcy a little over a year ago by an Alabama-based online university and is working to boost enrollment and financial viability.
Waldorf president Joe Manjone says their first hit came last week when federal Homeland Security and Immigration revoked Waldorf’s authority to issue visas to foreign students.
Manjone says, “We were supposed to let the agency know within 60 days when there was a change of ownership and that was not done.”
It means Waldorf is losing 30 foreign students for the fall semester, which cuts the school’s enrollment by about five-percent. He says many of those students will be remaining on as students, but they won’t be on campus.
“In some cases, students have already indicated they’ll stay in their home country and take our online courses from home and then come back when and if we do get our certification back,” Manjone says. Restoring that certification could take between 16 weeks and a full year — or more.
The other bad news came when the presidents of the other colleges in the Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference voted to kick Waldorf and another for-profit school, Ashford College in Clinton, out of the conference beginning in 2012.
It’s a temporary setback, according to Manjone: “That was a surprise but it’s something I think we’ll overcome very easily.” He says Waldorf is looking for other conference affiliation or might compete as an independent.
All this comes as Waldorf continues lobbying state legislators, hoping to restore Iowa grant scholarships to its students.