COVID Permanently Shuts Down Historic College

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | 2 weeks ago

Lincoln College

A historically black college is shutting down for good in Illinois. Lincoln College was established while President Abraham Lincoln was still alive. It has endured many challenges, but is now unable to function after COVID regulations destroyed the economy

Lincoln College will cease to operate starting Friday, and many are wondering how this is possible. Illinois implemented tax increases in 2019. This was set to add $4.6 billion to the state. When the federal government distributed COVID-19 relief funds, the state got yet another revenue boost. $2.2 billion dollars were allocated for public education, followed by a $47 billion dollar education budget in 2022 that increased college aid and college completion programs. Where all of this money went, and why colleges in the area are still suffering are questions that have yet to be answered. 

Lincoln College

This historic college — which serves mostly underrepresented minority communities — is being shut down after enduring two World Wars. It even outlasted the devastating 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic. It is a shocking sign of the times that has disheartened many students, but that is not the full story of Lincoln College.

Lincoln College, like many universities, has relied more on virtual learning in order to continue educating young adults. In 2020, the college experienced a cyber attack. The IT department was reported to have handled it quickly and the incident did not effect virtual learning. Then in December of 2021, a mass cyber attack disrupted admissions, access to teaching materials, and halted all fund-raising abilities. The college was demanded to pay a $100 thousand dollar ransom to hackers. They paid the money, but the damage done essentially destroyed the university’s ability to function. 

Who carried out the cyber attacks on Lincoln College, or why remains a mystery. The criminals were never caught, but enrollment decline has been a serious issue for many colleges without the added burden of cyber-crime. Inflation has taken a serious toll on all industries across the nation. In addition, many colleges are raising tuition rates, and interest rates on student loans are expected to rise again this year. Lawmakers in various states have been scrambling to support on-the-job training programs that render expensive college degrees obsolete during the current labor shortage. This is all in addition to the backlash that is being felt from families that do not support certain teaching methods being used in many colleges. 

Lincoln College

Many conservative families do not wish to place their students in universities that teach Critical Race Theory, as it is said to teach that America is racist and that people should be judged based on the color of their skin. Historically black colleges are often more liberal and support progressive socialist talking points, but the black community has reportedly turned more conservative throughout the Biden Administration’s control of the White House. Whether this contributed to Lincoln College’s downfall is unclear. 

What students and professors do know is that the college they have supported will cease to exist on Friday. It is an emotional time for many who have a history with Lincoln College. This historic college is meeting its end and that marks a turning point for many students and educators.