'Heartbreaking': Students rush to figure out what's next after Cardinal Stritch University announces closure

’Heartbreaking’: Students rush to figure out what’s next after Cardinal Stritch University announces closure

FOX POINT, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Students at Cardinal Stritch University are scrambling to figure out how to continue their college education after the academic institution announced its closure at the end of the semester. 

That gives students just over a month before the university closes to find ways to transfer to other colleges.

The university announced Monday, April 10 it is suspending and canceling all activities effective May 22. The spring commencement will still go on as scheduled on May 21 at the Wisconsin Center.

Leaders cited fiscal issues, downward enrollment trends and operational changes as reasons for the closure.

"Just knowing that this is going to be ripped from us in a month is just, it's very heart wrenching in a way," freshman Sebastian Rios told CBS 58.

Other students have more complex cases, including student athletes like Marcos Garcia.

"I don't know, I mean if I don't get nothing because we are very late I will go back to my country and start there and yeah, it's a possibility," Garcia, who plays on the university soccer team, said.

Garcia is here on a student visa.

"It complicates everything because we need a lot of paperwork and I don't know if we have time enough to accomplish everything," Garcia said.

Others are still processing the sudden news.

"I'm a first-gen student, I'm the oldest in my family, first to go to college, so it's kind of like, not only is it a disappointment for me […], it was heartbreaking to tell my parents that unfortunately that this is where we're at, but we're honestly just waiting to see what happens," Marlen Mora-Gomez said in an interview.

Mora-Gomez is at Cardinal Stritch University on a full-ride scholarship. The status of her financial aid going forward is uncertain. But for now, she's mainly sad to be leaving.

"I have nothing bad to say about this school," Mora-Gomez said. "It's given me, within the first year, so many opportunities, so many amazing things that I'm so thankful for, but just sad to see it come to such a soon end."

Students said they have been getting help from the university for the transition process. Select students will have the opportunity for certain summer courses in order to complete their degrees. Cardinal Stritch has posted FAQs and other information for students on its website.

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