University of the Arts closure: Here are local universities offering help to abandoned students

Several local colleges have stepped up to help former University of the Arts students who were left abandoned by the historic school's abrupt closure. 

The University of the Arts, an institution with roots more than a century and a half old in Philadelphia, closed its doors for good on Friday. 

Officials at the university — which has offered programs in design, fine arts, media arts, music, dance and theater — said summer courses will be canceled and a new class will not be enrolled in the fall. They vowed to help continuing students transfer to other institutions such as Temple and Drexel universities and the Moore College of Art and Design.

Officials said University of the Arts had been in a "fragile financial state" like many institutions of higher learning following "many years of declining enrollments, declining revenues, and increasing expenses," but had made progress on improving its position.

"Unfortunately, however, we could not overcome the ultimate challenge we faced: with a cash position that has steadily weakened, we could not cover significant, unanticipated expenses," they said. "The situation came to light very suddenly. Despite swift action, we were unable to bridge the necessary gaps."

As stranded students and faculty continued to protest outside the school, Philadelphia's City Council voted Thursday to look into the impact of the University of the Arts sudden closure. Meanwhile, other colleges and universities have offered aid to students struggling to decide what their next steps will be.

Temple University

Temple University, one of Philadelphia's largest institutions, said it has been working "diligently to ensure that all University of the Arts students have a path to completing their studies." 

The North Philadelphia-based school launched a website dedicated to offering aid to University of the Arts students interested in starting of continuing their academic career at Temple. The school said it has been working with representatives from University of the Arts to make the transfer process "as seamless as possible." 

Temple said hundreds of University of the Arts have already used the dedicated web page. Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Jose Aviles said the school has also been reaching out to students via phone and email.

"We are ready to provide the highest level of service to UArts students, and our goal is to ease their transition and support their educational goals," Aviles said. 

Drexel University

Drexel has also launched its own web page for University of the Arts students interested in transferring to the school. 

President John Fry said the school has reached out to former and incoming University of the Arts students, and has been in touch with high school guidance counselors. Drexel has also extended its 50% tuition discount program normally reserved for community college students to University of the Arts students.

"Drexel will fully guide students and families through this transition and ensure clarity through the admissions and financial aid process while minimizing any potential disruptions," Drexel's website read. 

Rowan University

Rowan University made it known to abandoned University of the Arts students that the application deadline for first-year students and transfer students remains open.

Rowan offers four undergrad degree programs for the arts through their College of Performing Arts and the Ric Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts.

The Glassboro, New Jersey college said it will waive application fees for University of the Arts students and review scholarships to uphold as much aid as possible.

"Rowan’s admissions and academic college teams will support students to offer a seamless transition through the application and onboarding process," the school said.

Moore College of Art and Design

Moore College of Art and Design expressed plans to "FastTrack" the transfer process for University of the Arts students with expedited admissions and a packed event schedule. 

University of the Arts students will not need to submit applications or fees to attend Moore, and are invited to an open house on Friday and ongoing campus tours.

Moore's plan also includes sending financial aid, student affairs and admissions representatives to University of the Arts to meet and assist students.

The college additionally guaranteed that all academic credits and scholarships that students earned at University of the Arts would be honored by Moore.

La Salle University

Liberal arts school La Salle University said it is "committed to providing a place for any and all UArts students." 

La Salle held a virtual transfer information session on June 6 ahead of University of the Arts' closure to explain its plan for a smooth transition.

The school will at least match all financial aid incoming transfers previously had and allow up to 90 transfer credits.

It will also offer University of the Arts students preferential housing so "roommate pairs who come over together can room together."