Nikolas Schumann was a community college student and budding painter when he first learned about the San Francisco Art Institute from a mentor. He visited the school, “absolutely loved” it, and decided to transfer there in 2018 after a large scholarship knocked his tuition from $46,000 per year down to $15,000. “It just had so much history and was so diverse,” Schumann said. “They birth interesting and wild artists.” But just a few months from graduation, Schumann’s plans are in limbo after the art institute, along with another Bay Area college, Notre Dame de Namur University, said last month they would not be enrolling any new students in the fall. Art institute officials cited the coronavirus outbreak as a factor in their decision. The news from the two schools — one a Catholic university that was the first in California to admit women in 1868, the other a fine arts academy that counts photographer Annie Leibovitz among its alumni — highlights the financial challenges facing the state’s small private colleges as the pandemic imposes new costs and throws the admissions cycle into turmoil. Unlike public universities like the University of California system, private colleges cannot count on state tax dollars… Read full this story
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